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New vision needed
I firmly support all seven bylaws which passed third reading on July 14. With the median price of a single family home in North Saanich now breaking $800,000, our community needs housing options at more affordable levels.
Problems of growth and how to handle it, are not unique to North Saanich. Sidney and Central Saanich are also facing challenges. Neither of those communities has the capacity to absorb all this growth on their own.
Sidney is quickly maxing its boundaries and is pushing up against height restrictions by its proximity to the airport. Central Saanich, for its part has done a brilliant job of providing pleasant family neighborhoods built around the village centers of Saanichton and Brentwood Bay. It also has a large core of ALR farmland which provides a significant percentage of the Island’s food.
Central Saanich treasures its farmland at least as much as North Saanich, so build up of its farmland is not an option.
It is time for North Saanich to step up to the plate and do its share, rather than expecting its neighbors to carry the load.
In my opinion, it is hypocritical for North Saanich to happily collect revenues from the airport industries, yet deny housing for its employees.
The areas between the airport and the highway, and along McDonald Park are well suited to higher density neighborhoods and their development will have no impact on other areas. The oft repeated statements by the antis that this is the beginning of the end is so much fear mongering.
As for the mayor’s statement that this level of growth is unprecedented, I beg to differ. I lived through the boom decade when the areas of Dean Park, Green Park, Cloake Hill, Curteis Point and Lands End were developed.
All the reasons that the ‘no’ side have given for denying these amendments to the OCP are undermined by recurring comments like “I paid good money to buy into this community. If they can’t afford to buy, then we don’t want them here.”
That attitude is called elitism. I have lived here too long to want to see my community disappearing down this narrow minded path.
I strongly believe North Saanich requires new vision and new blood