Court to decide fate of Saanich’s Maltby Lake property

The Land Conservancy and its monitor are squaring off over the fate of Maltby Lake in Saanich this morning in the Supreme Court of B.C. in Vancouver.

At issue is what will happen to land partly owned by the Victoria-based, non-profit TLC, a conservation organization in creditor protection.

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Maltby Lake property consists of approximately 170 acres of land and 18 acres of lake. It has been in the Holmes and Dumbleton family for more than a century, a report from the court-appointed monitor states in his latest report.

Members of the Holmes family hold 55 per cent of the land, 35 per cent was willed to the TLC, and another 10 per cent is owned by the Thomson family.

TLC’s holdings were willed to it by Catherine Holmes, who had hoped that “Pip’s Park,” in honour of her late husband, would be established, although that wish is not legally binding, the monitor said.

B.C. Assessment values the Maltby Lake property at $5.9 million. The TLC’s share would be worth $2 million, the monitor said.

Its board accepted an offer of $750,000 from Thomson. Under that plan, the TLC would retain six per cent of the property, giving it a say in its future. The Holmes family offered $1 million, the monitor’s report said.

Briony Penn, serving as a TLC consultant, said the Thomson offer is preferred because it has more protective covenants and it most closely meets the intentions of Catherine Holmes.

No sale can take place without approval of the court.

The monitor said that neither offer is acceptable. He wants a sale price closer to appraised values and also said that wishes of creditors need to be taken into account.

The organization is more than $7.5 million in debt.

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