Re: Affordable Housing in North Saanich
I would suggest that two policy changes are required. The first is to allow gentle and moderate densification by allowing secondary housing (attached and detached suites) as a right for residential properties in North Saanich. This would allow for affordable rental accommodation for individuals working in North Saanich.
The second is for a concerted plan to develop new moderate density housing developments.
I note that the author of the letter “New housing will not be affordable” has misused the term “high-density” when referring to a small lot subdivision.
In almost every planning lexicon, high-density refers to multiple-story multi-family residential (or high-rise).
I think using terms incorrectly gives a false impression of what is actually being proposed.
The author, however, is correct in stating that it is unlikely new housing will be affordable to those with lesser means.
What it will provide though is a base of new lower priced housing, also an important component of an affordable housing strategy.
A range of housing options in the lower end of the housing spectrum, including moderate density low-rise multi-family (townhomes and walk-up apartments) is vital to ensure the supply of housing is adequate for existing residents to “move-up” and vacate existing older more affordable housing.
I particularly enjoyed the other letter “Boutique agriculture at best” that challenges the notion of whether North Saanich is in fact an agricultural community.
I think it is important to ask ourselves these fundamental questions if only to verify the facts where strong emotions and community sentiment prevent reasonable solutions.
The notion that any development in North Saanich will damage the agricultural integrity of this community is false and misleading.
Development can occur in a sensitive and sensible manner.
The issue of council not having a fulsome conversation about development is akin to abdicating the role of leading the community.