Central Saanich to explore public process on infill

Councillor Bob Thompson says density issues can be a challenge for existing residents.

Central Saanich staff are going to be looking into a public process on densification and infill in the municipality.

Councillor Bob Thompson asked council and staff to review and update densification and infill policies. His Oct. 5 motion, approved Oct. 19, asked for a report from staff and information to do a review on the guidelines, bringing it back to council to consider action for 2016.

Thompson said he isn’t sure what will happen with the next step once they get feedback from staff.

He said that infill and densification are both important issues in the community and thinks council needs to go through a couple of stages.

One is to inform the public about their official community plan, why they’re doing densification and what information has been collected to date to create a baseline.

He added that they will have some initial discussions and work on developing some guidelines.

Thompson said that for most people living in residential areas, their home and sense of place can be most impacted by densification, potentially disrupted by higher density housing.

It can present a challenge for people to deal with that change, he said, adding it’s not just about change itself, it’s issues of maintaining privacy and parking.

He said the District has an urban containment area, which is a thick black line drawn around the existing commercial, industrial and residential areas.

The idea is that developers won’t expand housing and subdivisions into  rural areas.

Thompson said its really an anti-sprawl activity, in terms of maintaining Central Saanich farmland and rural lands.