A piece of property causing friction between residents in rural Metchosin and a regional family charity that operates camps and programs there was officially listed for sale on Friday.
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria said it is selling a 40-acre portion, and possibly the entire 98-acre camp, saying it’s surplus to the club’s needs and the money is needed to fund more services and supports for children, youth and families in Greater Victoria.
The club said in a statement the property is being listed by Devencore Realty Victoria Ltd. Offers on the 40-acre piece will be considered on a $2.3-million asking price.
“Sales information will be made available to interested individuals and organizations, including those with land conservation or preservation mandates,” the club said in a statement. “Information packages will be sent to interested parties, including the District of Metchosin and the Capital Regional District, which may wish to consider purchasing the property as a regional community asset.”
The Boy and Girls Club’s decision to sell about half the property has sparked heated debates over the past several months, with the district council most recently adopting a bylaw amendment that would limit any subdivision to a single lot on 40 acres, instead of the eight, five-acre parcels allowed under the zoning.
The club said the unanimous decision by council would “devalue” the land, and proceeded with plans to list the property.
A petition against the plans to sell and subdivide attracted more than 4,000 signatures and there have been drive-by protests.
The club said in its statement that its foundation board has heard community interest in the entire 98-acre property. “In an effort to respond to these community interests, the board would be willing to entertain purchase offers on the entire property, which is zoned for multiple uses,” the club said.
The Boys and Girls Club has operated programming for children and youth on the property at 3900 Metchosin Road for 35 years. It was purchased from the provincial government in 2004 for $1.6 million.
The 90-acre property had an assessed value of $5,177,100 as of July 1, 2020, according to B.C. Assessment. That’s up from $4,879,000 the previous year.
The property is currently split zoned — institutional over 58 acres and rural over 40 acres.
“We have been remarkable stewards of this land for decades,” said foundation board treasurer Wayne Jensen in a statement. “Now it is time for someone else to take over. Our goal is to reinvest in our greatest asset — the children and youth of our region.”
A deadline for the sale has not been established.
The club provides a range of services, including youth outreach, mental-health and substance-use supports, homelessness-prevention support, children’s out-of-school care and summer camps.