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Going Once, Going Twice

Going Once, Going Twice

May 22nd, 2008  · stk

Whiting Way Estates: (an update)

Of the eight 5-acre parcels for sale at the end of our neighborhood, only two remain. Six sold in less than four months, all over $250k CAD. Amazing. See which, for what, get an update on the tree-killing neighbor and see a pure-CSS hover technique

75% of Whiting Way Estate Lots Sold in Four Months

The advertisement on page twenty seven of the May 2008 issue of the local "Take 5" magazine reads:

Serene Yellow Point Acreage

Wonderful 4 to 6 acre properties. In a postcard setting, right in the heart of sought after Yellow Point. ONly 8 parcels in total, each with their own unique qualities, but all very nicely treed and private. One of the areas sunniest spots, abundance of wildlife, ponds, forest and wonderful park area. Only a short walk to incredible Robert's Memorial oceanfront park, airport, ferries & picturesque Ladysmith within a 15-minute commute. This will be a great place to live!

The magazine advert by realtor Ed Morrison, was accompanied by a small sketch map, showing that four of the properties had been sold.

In late January, we reported that the first of these eight parcels, in our neighborhood, had been sold (and that the new owners had illegally cut down trees on designated park land, so he'd get a better view of the pond). The advert sketch map parcels marked as "sold", didn't jive with those marked as "sold" on the "For Sale" signs, at the entrance of each property.

It got me wondering, "Which parcels have, in truth, been sold?"

I called the realtor's office to find out and what I heard, astounded me. Fully six of the eight parcels have already been sold and doggone close to their asking price! That's nearly $300k per pop in four very short months!

To see a map of which properties have sold, asking prices, selling prices, which properties remain and a fancy pure-CSS aerial photography hover overlay (and an update on the tree-slashing, lot-7 owner) ... read on

The Regional District of Nanaimo "RDN-Map"

whiting way estates aerial photo whiting way estates parcel map

Whiting Way Estates - A Parcel Map - Aerial Photo on hover - showing which lots have sold, their asking price and selling price. Park area shaded green.

In January, when we reported that the first lot had sold, the Regional District of Nanaimo's "RDN-Map", an online GIS tool, had not yet been updated. It showed Whiting Way Estates as a single, undivided parcel of land, at the end of Whiting Way.

It's now been updated and that's where I obtained the map and aerial photo overlay (seen when you hover over the map). I've added the asking and selling prices, as well.

I find it somewhat shocking, especially in light of the sub-prime lending fiasco, housing inventory build-up and housing construction slow-down in the United States, that these parcels sold (a) as quickly as they did and (b) so close to their asking price.

On the plus side, it makes us feel very good about owning a (much nicer) parcel in the same neighborhood. (Gotta love the scenic description that Ed Morrison put in the magazine! :D It almost made me want to sell our place and move there!!)

I'm actually surprised that Lot #3 sold (the one that sold for $290k, just to the right of the one offered at $279k). The one next to it at $279 seemed like a nicer lot, to me. The other one still for sale (lower right) is certainly the "dog" of the bunch, filled mostly with a pond and has to have an easment on the lot to the west, to gain access.

It will be interesting to see how long these remaining two lots last (the price has been reduced from $299 to $279 on both, apparently).

Update on Tree-Slashing Property Owner

When I called the planning department in January, I wasn't the only one who had called to complain that the Lot 7 owner had cut down 100-year-old trees in the community park (so he could have a scenic view of the Park pond). I was informed that they were aware of the transgression and that the property owner had already been contacted. At that time, they were unclear about what remedial actions, if any, would be requested of the owner.

When making this post, I contacted the same person at the planning department. Because there are no punative laws that cover this situation, the Parks and Recreation Department had (she believed) requested remedial work be done (planting of trees). She was uncertain if that work had been requested or performed and gave me the telephone number of Jonathan Lobb - toll-free (888) 828-2069 - who works for the Regional District Parks & Recreation.

I've not been able to reach him yet, though I have left a voice message. When I find out what's going on, I'll update this section. (It's been a while since I've walked up there, so I don't know if any work has been carried out or not).

UPDATE: I finally spoke with the Parks & Recreation people, who said that an actual tree-count had not yet been performed, but that the land owner has been contacted about the issue and notified that remedial work will be requested. This usually involves replanting native species in the same area, hiring a crew to do the work and then billing the landowner.

When I mentioned to Jonathan that I was updating an Internet post, he clammed up a tad, electing not to comment on things like the age of the trees planted for remedial work (obviously not 70-year-old, full-grown trees, but neither are they seedlings). He also didn't want to get into what sort of legal steps might be taken if the landowner refuses to pay for the work, though did mention that they had a legal department that follows up in such situations.

Jonathan said they were short on staff and that it would likely be some time before the work would be completed. He said he had no problem with me calling "anytime" to check on the status of the issue.

It still chaps my hide that the owner cut down 100-year-old trees on public land, which was clearly marked, just so he could have a view of the pond. I'm eager now, to make certain that (at least) the remedial work is completed. I'll follow up on this when such work is complete.

UPDATE #2 - The owners of Lot 7 find and respond.


Pure-CSS Two-Image Hover Technique

When you hover your mouse over the lot map, above, the aerial photography shows. I've used this "Before-After CSS Hover" technique a couple times on Randsco (here and here) and some people may want to know how it's done.

I will post the specifics on the technique, but it relies upon the "opacity" directive. This directive is a part of "CSS (level 3) - Medium Priority, CSS Color Module", which is a "Candidate Recommendation" at the moment, though fully supported by modern browsers (like FireFox and Opera, among others). Using the "Before-After CSS Hover" technique is a commitment to some work, because it requires a bit of extra stuff: Internet Explorer 6 (ability to apply :hover to something other than an anchor tag); Internet Explorer 5, 6 and 7 (special code to overcome the fact that IE doesn't support the "opacity" directive); and lastly, the ability to validate against CSS (level3), to avoid erroneous error messages spat out by the W3C (and other) CSS validators.

Aside from that ... it's light on code, a piece of cake to implement, and a wonderful way to provide an interactive "Before" and "After" shots of a project, as well as other creative uses!

In other words ... coming to Randsco soon! (AND ... as always ... squeaky wheels get greased first! Rough Translation - - If you want it done sooner rather than later, you're best served to leave a comment about it!)

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Updated: 4-Jun-2008
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