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Development a cross-border issue
North Saanich will again extend an invitation to Central Saanich council to discuss the proposed Vantreight development. The 57-unit project off of Central Saanich Road is raising concern, and has been since it’s inception, from residents who live near the Central Saanich/North Saanich border — where the project would be built.
“The Vantreight hill development, at this point, will probably go ahead,” said councillor Cairine Green, noting residents have voiced ongoing opposition to the plan. “There have been a number of concerns raised in both emails, phone calls … from residents in the south east quadrant.”
Green crafted a motion, during the recent committee of the whole meeting, to approach Central Saanich in a new way, “to try and address the concerns of residents in North Saanich.”
As a result of the discussion, North Saanich opted to extend the invitation to have the two districts get together to discuss interface issues — both legal and practical — and explore options to mitigate impacts of the proposed Vantreight development on neighbours and Quarry Park.
The second portion of her original motion — that in the longer-term both municipalities explore working together to create a cooperative planning model that could be applied to other potential development sites that have cross-border implications for residents related to noise, pollution, environmental protection, traffic management and agriculture — will become part of the terms of reference, should the two municipalities meet.
Councillor Dunstan Browne wondered if the topic could be brought to a tri-municipal meeting, where it could include Sidney in the discussion. Municipal staff suggested individual meetings between districts would be more effective.
“It almost seems we’re interfering in the business of Central Saanich. They’ve made this decision,” Browne said.
“We have written at least three times trying to provide input,” Green responded. “This is not to interfere, this is to bring awareness … They are the only residents impacted by this. Central Saanich residents are not impacted.”
Mayor Alice Finall agreed it wasn’t merely a tri-municipal issue.
“It’s a regional issue and I think that the forum for it is the CRD rather than a tri-municipal meeting,” Finall said.