Re: Densification study deferred to 2012 (PNR Oct. 26).
This study is certainly required. The municipal hall’s filing cabinets contain at least eight letters, staff memos, planning and development committee minutes, advisory planning commission minutes, and council minutes, on the subject of uncertainty around the meaning of the term “densification” and the need for such a study. Adding to the confusion is that the Official Community Plan contains the word but does not define it.
This lack of meaning and understanding, however, has not prevented council from ploughing ahead with approving various bylaw amendments, rezonings, and variances.
One of the most serious of these, in my view, is the initiative that removed the requirement for houses with suites, that the owner reside in one of the two dwelling units.
To be included in the issue is that according the 2006 Census, 18 per cent of the dwelling units in Central Saanich are rental units. For the other three rural municipalities in the CRD the figures are: Metchosin 14 per cent, North Saanich 10 per cent, and Highlands six per cent. Central Saanich also compares favourably with the urban municipalities. For example, Langford is at 21 per cent and Sidney is at 23 per cent.
Those who think that Central Saanich should increase its stock of rental units should instead turn their sights on other municipalities, both rural and urban, and have them increase their rental stock to bring their figures more in line with those of rural Central Saanich.
Central Saanich is at present carrying more than its share of the load.