Anti-development faction wants new results

Re: North Saanich is a great place, Nov. 9, 2012.

While Ms. Greene writes that she would have liked to see more fact-based assertions to Mr. Trelford’s letter (Nov. 2, 2012), she herself has distorted or ignored key facts.

At a recent ratepayers meeting, councillor (Dunstan) Browne reminded the audience that council had recently voted for the hiring of a consultant to conduct public hearings regarding housing strategy.

Somehow, despite the fact that the members of this council, including the so-called pro-future councillors, have taken the necessary steps to ensure public consultation, Ms. Greene concludes that they are avoiding public consultation.

Ms. Greene goes on to claim that new development increases taxes due to required infrastructure needed to support the development. What she doesn’t acknowledge is the fact that developers must pay up-front costs for all off-site infrastructure improvements, as well as significant development cost charges (DCCs). These monies are used by the district for services demanded by residents.

New developments enrich a community with an enhanced tax base for improvements to hospitals, fire halls, schools and parks and the potential to secure our wishes such as bike paths. If we allow ourselves to be open to possibilities, the right visionary development could achieve much more.

Unfortunately, Ms. Greene, like others in this community, is apparently so blinded by backward-looking, anti-development bias that she indulges distortion of fact. The last series of public forums conducted in North Saanich in 2007 concluded that residents wanted some senior and affordable housing options. It is apparent to me that the anti-development faction would like us to conduct more surveys and consultations until they get the result they want.

John Upward

Sidney