District housing report stays on the shelf

Councillors try to clear up motion to take no further action

North Saanich Councillor Dunstan Browne has questioned whether council recently shelved its housing strategy implementation report.

At the Feb. 17 meeting, Browne took issue with the Peninsula News Review report outlining his and council’s decision to tell staff to do no further work in relation to the report.

“It’s the underpinning of the District’s housing policy,” Browne said.

“We were not wanting to shelve it,” added Coun. Craig Mearns.

Chief Administrative Officer Rob Buchan said, however, that council’s discussion on Feb. 3 stemmed from Browne’s motion that told staff to do nothing more on the report.

“We were waiting for the deliberation of council on any future actions, if any,” Buchan said.

“All of the dialogue is there (the council’s webcast) in regards to the wording and what was said.”

The result was, Buchan added, an amended motion to take further action on the report.

The District’s housing strategy implementation report, conducted by CTQ Consultants Ltd. of Kelowna, has been hotly debated by council.

Only some of its 11 recommendations have been acted on to date.

Those are:

• setting in motion plans to increase residential housing density in the McTavish Road area and along McDonald Park Road.

• set densities and types of housing for those two sites.

• seek modification of the District’s regional context statement/regional growth strategy.

Council is currently seeking information from the consulting firm to address their request to be paid additional money for their work on the report.