OUR VIEW: District has to find its own way

Should the housing issues facing North Saanich be better served by communities like Sidney and Langford?

Should the housing issues facing residents, business owners and the politicians of North Saanich be better served by communities like Sidney and Langford?

That’s a theory posed by Springfield Harrison, a member of a small group of people opposed to potential rampant, higher-density housing in the community. He has stated that each community within the Capital Regional District has a role to play — and North Saanich plays the part of more rural, agricultural area — not so much a housing hub.

Does that sound a tad elitist — or isolationist — forcing workers and their families to live elsewhere and commute into North Saanich job sites? That, he said in response to the question, is certainly not what he meant. North Saanich, he asserts, has its own role to play in the broader CRD community, including having a symbiotic relationship with Sidney, where different housing styles are more common.

The recent open house on ongoing community consultative process on housing densities in North Saanich appears to have moved beyond Harrison’s position. It presented higher-density housing options and concepts and an exit survey asks people to rank their priorities when it comes to how these options might impact their community.

At this stage, it appears unlikely that the district will pull back from its path to adding a diverse mixture of residential options. Yet, within the confines of a greater CRD community North Saanich will have to find its own way.

To a certain extent, if North Saanich hopes to maintain a diverse community, some housing options will have to be considered. How that looks in the end will play out in this public consultation process.