Speculation is not community planning

Re: Large lots and NIMBY going way of the dodo, PNR, March 8, 2013.

Mr. Shick has cast aspersions upon my motives and methods. While it is probably futile to refute these generalizations, I stand by the assertions contained in my previous letters. As I, and others, believe my research to be quite thorough, I do resent being accused of muddying the water.

Although I would welcome the dialogue, I don’t recall anyone contesting any of my claims, although they may be quick to make uninformed assumptions about my motives.

My only motive in reluctantly persisting with these letters is to support the concept of organized, integrated and long-term planning for North Saanich in concert with our neighbouring municipalities. The mechanism for this already exists as the Official Community Plans and the Regional Growth Strategy. I also support amending both of these if the changes yield clear and abundant benefits to the community and those changes are accepted by the residents.

This is not the belief of an anti-development NIMBY who fears change.

Major changes to the community, accomplished at random and through spot rezoning, denigrate the principle and practice of professional community planning. This is not to say that individual cases that actually champion innovative ideas, and genuinely enrich the community, as well as the developer, should be considered negatively.

To reiterate, there is nothing automatically bad about land speculation, let’s just not confuse it with community planning.

Speaking of which, how much of that is currently being undertaken in North Saanich? The current council is almost completely engaged in furthering ad hoc development projects to the exclusion of any other innovative, or even routine, programs.

Mr. Shick states that as a member of the Advisory Planning Commission, I have “more say in development matters than most in our community.” First, I am no longer a member of the APC. Recent new appointments there have left it reconstructed as a philosophical clone of the current council, with little daylight visible between the two. Second, I would suggest that as an architectural consultant to a local developer, Mr. Shick would have far more influence with the current regime than I.

Springfield Harrison

North Saanich