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BC power line near the home sales rise

13 September 2009 903 views No Comment

A group of homes near Vancouver, at the centre of a bitter fight that pitted property rights against the province’s utility company, are going back on the market.

Facing the wrath of Tsawwassen residents who wanted to block the
construction of a high-voltage power line in their neighbourhood, BC Hydro spent $62 million earlier this year buying out dozens of angry homeowners.

“Offers were made to residents — 138 of them — and we bought 105. And now we are selling those 105 in order to re-coup the costs for the BC Hydro ratepayers,” said company spokesman Dag Sharman.

On Sunday, 20 of those homes will go back on the market, and some house-hunters are hoping to score the deal of a lifetime. The homes are being sold incrementally, as to not disrupt the local housing market.

Rich Woods and his wife Lynn are two potential buyers who spent their Saturday scoping out the neighbourhood.

“I think they are a little lower priced than the average home in the area,” Woods told CTV News, adding that the power lines aren’t a problem for him. “Again, if the power lines are a concern for some people, don’t buy.”

In fact, according to local reports, some of the homes are up to $70,000 cheaper than market value.

While some in the community had protested the power lines because of safety reasons, BC Hydro says they aren’t trying to hide any of the facts.

“We leave that up to the perspective buyers to decide for themselves,” said Sharman. “There’s a lot of information out there about the issue. On the website that is selling the homes, there are some links to independent studies about this.”

Still, some still living in the neighbourhood — where the average home price is around $500,000 — continue to feel shortchanged.

While his home sits in close proximity to the power lines, resident John Mann wasn’t offered a buyout while his neighbour was.

“I can’t tell you how frustrating it is. It’s been very emotional for the family,” he said.

With a report from CTV B.C.’s Stephen Smart

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