Views not guaranteed in North Saanich

Neighbours worry land rezoning will affect property value

Neighbours to a property on Ebor Terrace in North Saanich spoke out against a proposed rezoning of the land from one to two lots but council’s majority were unmoved and voted to advance the change.

Laurel Westinghouse, whose mother lives behind the property, told council on Oct. 6 they were opposed to the rezoning that would allow a second house to be built, essentially cutting off their view and affecting the value of the property.

Councillor Ted Daly said the land in question is subject to a covenant restricting height and floor space of any new building.

“No one is guaranteed a view,” Daly added. “There is a covenant in place and on balance, I support the (rezoning) bylaw.”

Coun. Craig Mearns agreed.

“We’re not in the business of guaranteeing people that they’ll always have their view,” he said.

With Daly, Mearns and councillors Conny McBride and Dunstan Browne forming their usual voting block, that left Mayor Alice Finall and councillor Elsie McMurphy and Celia Stock again in the minority position.

“This is indicative of the public and my concerns over spot rezoning and its negative impact,” said McMurphy.

She said the historical pattern in the Ebor Terrace area is for view lots, which is now under threat by the amount of rezoning requests coming in.

Daly, however said that’s an overstatement.

“I bet there have been only six or seven subdivision requests there in the last nine years,” he said. “The sky is not falling.”

Finall called the majority’s penchant for spot rezoning “a virus on the OCP.”

Final approval of the rezoning is expected at council’s regular meeting of Oct. 20.