The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) board recently approved the purchase of Stonehenge Farm, 4875 Headquarters Road, adjacent to the CVRD exhibition grounds. The property is currently a 3.38 hectare riding academy housing two residences, stable, outdoor and indoor riding facilities and several pastures.
“It is not every day that property adjacent to us becomes available,” explains board chair Jolliffe. “Acquiring this site we have the ability to enhance our services, provide economic opportunities and develop partnerships that would benefit our growing community in the long-term.”
Stonehenge Farm was purchased for $815,000. The CVRD board approved a maximum of $850,000 to be borrowed over a five-year period with short-term financing from the Municipal Finance Authority. The annual debt for purchasing the property is approximately $180,000. The tax rate for this debt payment is estimated at $4.14 for a property assessed at $300,000. The borrowing costs are included in the 2016-2020 financial plan for the exhibition grounds service.
The long term site use will be determined through a review and update of the 2008 Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds (CVEG) site master plan process that will be led by the CVRD community services branch. As this property is within the agricultural land reserve (ALR) any future site developments would have to adhere to both the City of Courtenay and ALR permitting and zoning bylaws. As this initiative moves forward consultation with key stakeholders including the Comox Valley Exhibition Association, Comox Valley Farmers Institute, North Vancouver Island Horse Association, Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society, Vancouver Island Musicfest and other interested parties will occur. The CVRD board has directed the CVEG master plan update to be included in the 2016 financial plan.