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Langford to weigh in on Bear Mountain trail access fees

Langford city council is weighing in on trail access limitations at Bear Mountain that were implemented by developer Ecoasis.

The trails in the Bear Mountain development that connect to Goldstream Park near Langford are popular with outdoor-lovers looking to get some time in nature.

Recently, however, the developer started enforcing a pass program to access the trails.

Non-residents are now required to buy a $45 day pass at the activity centre and sign a waiver to take a hike. The day pass also gives visitors access to the centre’s amenities, including a pool and gyms.

The developer says the new pass program is largely a result of insurance requirements.

"There is no trail fee for access to our trail network on Ecoasis’ private property," said the company.

"We recently implemented a Resort Trail program to limit access to our private lands in order to address safety and liability issues," said Ecoasis.

"Stringent insurance requirements coupled with increased unauthorized traffic on our golf courses and other private lands has prompted the need to create programs that deal with these challenges. This is a land management and risk mitigation program on private property."

Ecoasis also said it held off on enforcing the restriction during the pandemic and is now required to enforce the regulation.

It has now placed security at the trailhead.

Langford councillor Kimberly Guiry says, after hearing from people in the community that were upset about the restrictions, she teamed up with fellow councillor Keith Yacucha to see what the city can do the keep the trails open for everyone.

"So it’s a notice of motion that councillor Yacucha and I drafted together and that just says that we want to have space at the next council meeting in order to have that discussion," said Guiry.

She says the city has a few options to keep the trails open, including potential expropriation.

"This is an option but maybe not the best option. We’ll have a fulsome discussion with council and see where it leads," Guiry said.

Langford’s next council meeting is June 19, where the issue will be up for debate. Top Stories

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