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Update: Offer accepted, CVRD buys Bourke's private land off Stoney Hill Road
A $925,000 offer to purchase 38.8 acres of private land, off Maple Bay’s Stoney Hill Road, as regional parkland has been accepted, the News Leader Pictorial has learned.
Brian Farquhar, regional parks and trails manager, confirmed Friday taxpayers' offer to landowner Paul Bourke had been accepted.
"It's a done deal," Farquhar said.
The price for Bourke's land on Maple Bay Peninsula saw North Cowichan pay $200,000 from its parks acquisition fund, staff said. The balance came from the CVRD’s respective parkland acquisition fund, Farquhar explained.
Bourke’s property is on the southeast corner of the Maple Bay Peninsula, between Bird’s Eye Cove Farm, Sansum Narrows, and the CVRD’s Sansum Point Park.
An adjacent private piece has been offered, to North Cowichan, for preservation, as part of a puzzle of land many residents want preserved on the peninsula.
The majority of peninsula land — boasting the spectacular Sansum Bluffs — is in or beside North Cowichan’s municipal forest.
At issue is the controversial upgrading Stoney Hill’s current gravel road. The exact route remains undecided amidst debate about protecting rare species and Aboriginal archaeological sites.
Bourke and his lawyers had reached a deal with North Cowichan council for a spur road to his property amid the complex negotiations about the upgrades.
Stoney Hill Road reaches various homes in the Octopus Point area where some residents say council has promised them an upgraded, safer road.
A residents’ petition, in the past two years, has backed landowners’ demands for the upgraded road.