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North Cowichan buys and protects Timbercrest-area property

A chunk of land near Timbercrest subdivision has been bought by North Cowichan taxpayers

from local developer George Schmidt for $136,000.

The new municipal parkland is next to the existing Somenos/Timbercrest Garry Oak Protected Area and Somenos Creek.

Schmidt tried for years to rezone his entire 2.7-hectare parcel for houses.

Residents and Cowichan Tribes objected during public hearings — citing Garry oak meadows and burial grounds. Council denied rezoning and decided to protect the site by buying the property.

Schmidt eventually dedicated 2.2 hectares as provincial parkland.

North Cowichan has now bought the parcel’s northern piece using its municipal parkland acquisition fund.

That purse holds cash from developers in lieu of dedicating parkland, administrator Dave Devana explained.

Schmidt still owns the parcel’s .48-ha piece — accessed from the end of Trillium Way — that could fit three lots. He’d need rezoning to build on that site, Devana noted.

North Cowichan’s parkland acquisition fund holds about $800,000.

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