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Gas stations.. and the empty lots they become..


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#1 cakeman

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:03 PM

Im curious if anyone knows the rules/reasoning behind lots that used to be gas stations..

 

Is it a specific amount of time the lots have to sit fallow for before redevelopment or is it simply test, test and re-test the ground until things are good or.. or..

 

Specifcally Im thinking of Hillside/Cook and Quadra up from McKenzie..

 

Ive noticed a drill rig on the Hillside site every 6 months or so for a day or two.. then nothing..

 

cakes..

 



#2 Holden West

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:11 PM

I've noticed that activity at Cook and Hillside for years. It used to be a Payless Gas. I always get excited when I see all the workers and trucks and drilling rigs but then they disappear only to do the same thing months later. Someone is spending a fortune on this. I assume Shell inherited it?

 

This site at Cedar Hill X and Blenkinsop drives me nuts, too.


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#3 concorde

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:27 PM

They have to test and test and test some more.  Over time certain areas can get better, but the major areas are excavated and replaced with clean material

 

The major issue at former gas stations is that the contamination doesn't stop at the property line and usually spreads under neighouring properties and streets.  While the Rock Bay site wasn't a gas station, the main reason the autobody shop and Phoenix gym building was demolished was the contaminated ground spread under the building.  The only way to clean up the contaminated ground was to demolish the building

 

For what its worth the old gas station site at Goldstream and the Old Island Highway will become a Rexall and Royal Bank this summer



#4 Bingo

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:38 AM

They knocked down the old Sears Automotive Centre on Shelbourne, and within months it was a new parking lot. The deli at the corner of Penrhyn and Cadboro Bay Road is in the same building that once housed a service station. I don't think anything was ever done with the ground beneath. Likewise Pluto's restaurant at Cook and View.



#5 Sparky

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:14 AM

Just because there was a gas station located on a particular piece of property, that does not mean that the soil is contaminated.



#6 Mike K.

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:27 AM

So after soil is remediated, if necessary, it just sits there exposed to the elements for a while in the hopes any lingering contamination dissipates?

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#7 Holden West

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:25 AM

^Yes, and to prove it, here's a picture of Mike K. himself standing atop a mound of contaminated soil at the Victoria Brake site at Gov't and Herald, which one day would become the 601 Herald St. condos.

 

govt_herald-1.jpg


Edited by Holden West, 19 June 2014 - 08:11 AM.

"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#8 Linear Thinker

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:37 AM

Speaking of a fortune, property tax at Cook and Hillside this year is $18,830.

Assessed at $831K.

The last year it was assessed with improvements (building) was 2008.

I've noticed that activity at Cook and Hillside for years. It used to be a Payless Gas. I always get excited when I see all the workers and trucks and drilling rigs but then they disappear only to do the same thing months later. Someone is spending a fortune on this. I assume Shell inherited it?

 

This site at Cedar Hill X and Blenkinsop drives me nuts, too.

 


Edited by Linear Thinker, 19 June 2014 - 11:38 AM.


#9 sebberry

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:42 AM

They knocked down the old Sears Automotive Centre on Shelbourne, and within months it was a new parking lot. The deli at the corner of Penrhyn and Cadboro Bay Road is in the same building that once housed a service station. I don't think anything was ever done with the ground beneath. Likewise Pluto's restaurant at Cook and View.

 

Also Petro Canada where Uptown now sits.  Mind you a big pile of dirt was removed from that site to build Uptown.


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#10 LocalMom

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:05 PM

The site at Cedar Hill X & Blenkinsop is RIGHT in our neck of the woods - and it has been gone for atleast 6 years... and yes, we see the testing being done and I, too, get excited that finally they will be able to DO something on the lot.

 

Would LOVE a neighbourhood coffee shop - but heck, another gas station would be fine too ;) SOMEthing rather than the blight that it is now.



#11 Mike K.

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:42 PM

^Yes, and to prove it, here's a picture of Mike K. himself standing atop a mound of contaminated soil at the Victoria Brake site at Gov't and Herald, which one day would become the 601 Herald St. condos.

 

govt_herald-1.jpg

 

Ha! That brings back some memories!


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#12 concorde

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:35 PM

Just because there was a gas station located on a particular piece of property, that does not mean that the soil is contaminated.

I can't speak for law on that matter, but I know several oil company executives told me all soil is considered contaminated from a former gas station and must be manifested and shipped to special dump site 

 

So after soil is remediated, if necessary, it just sits there exposed to the elements for a while in the hopes any lingering contamination dissipates?

Yup



#13 sebberry

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:37 PM

Pipe it to Alberta, I hear they're good at separating oil from sand.


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#14 jonny

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:02 AM

I can't speak for law on that matter, but I know several oil company executives told me all soil is considered contaminated from a former gas station and must be manifested and shipped to special dump site 

 

I know from an accounting perspective places like gas stations, fuel storage facilities and oil wells always have an "Asset Retirement Obligation" which is a balance sheet liability that accrues over time to recognize the future liability of the costs to remediate the site to its prior condition.



#15 mc9

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:49 AM

So after soil is remediated, if necessary, it just sits there exposed to the elements for a while in the hopes any lingering contamination dissipates?


Its not just the soil effected, it often runs into the groundwater as well. Usually they identify the worst hit spot, excavate what they can and then monitor the soil and groundwater until clean to government standards. The drill rigs you see are usually the environmental company, contracted out to that property, taking soil samples and/or installing new places to monitor the groundwater.

Often times these monitoring wells are found off property as well because, as someone mentioned, the contamination can spread. I have seen certain gas companies buy out surrounding properties and houses and kick the tenants out because it is just too contaminated.

Treatment is often just waiting for everything to air out and break down on its on, or they have some machines they can install to try and speed up the process. But I have seen properties be empty for almost 20 years and counting because the contamination is so complicated.

My moral of the story, I wouldn't buy property near an old gas station, auto body shop or laundromat.
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#16 Mike K.

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:09 AM

Thanks for that :)

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#17 29er Radio

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:39 AM

[
My moral of the story, I wouldn't buy property near an old gas station, auto body shop or laundromat.
[/quote]

Good advice, but you never know where contamination will lurk. The last owner of the site in the 700 block
Yates St development Concert is doing was plagued by contaminants leaking into his site from unknown sources
that delayed his project to a point that he had to sell. Old oil tanks for heating systems for commercial
buildings can be just as problematic and await the claw of the backhoe with stinky oil smelling breath.
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#18 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:37 AM

Its not just the soil effected, it often runs into the groundwater as well. Usually they identify the worst hit spot, excavate what they can and then monitor the soil and groundwater until clean to government standards. The drill rigs you see are usually the environmental company, contracted out to that property, taking soil samples and/or installing new places to monitor the groundwater.

Often times these monitoring wells are found off property as well because, as someone mentioned, the contamination can spread. I have seen certain gas companies buy out surrounding properties and houses and kick the tenants out because it is just too contaminated.

Treatment is often just waiting for everything to air out and break down on its on, or they have some machines they can install to try and speed up the process. But I have seen properties be empty for almost 20 years and counting because the contamination is so complicated.

My moral of the story, I wouldn't buy property near an old gas station, auto body shop or laundromat.

I'd agree; just came back after a weekend in my old Vancouver stomping grounds in Kitsilano and the old Shell gas station/lot that has sat vacant since I moved back to the island in the fall of 2000 continues to sit at the corner of 4th and Trafalgar, with the same old rusting crappy chain link fence that I remember so well, and is now a weed choked, cigarette butt-accumulating eyesore. Hate to live in (or especially own) a unit in the condo directly beside that site....



#19 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 12:33 PM

Fairfield Shell recently got rid of its gas pumps and I don't think they had anything sit dormant.  It's still a repair shop.


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#20 29er Radio

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 12:52 PM

The environmental requirement for car repair is not much above gas station (if any) and probably the operator
had a long relationship with shell and his bank decided that he did not need to "clean" the site to get
financing.
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