Re: Boutique agriculture at best, PNR, Feb. 15, 2013.
I must disagree with some of Mr. Shick’s interpretations and emphasis. Although earnest and likely well-intentioned, he is paid to advocate for one of the development proposals currently before (North Saanich) council.
The current housing debate is a very important debate which highlights the choices foisted upon the community — housing policy dictated by developers and by where they happened to purchase land, versus housing policy guided by the community with the assistance of professional planners as expressed in the OCP.
It is as simple as that. There is nothing automatically bad about land speculation, let’s just not confuse it with community planning.
All the other mumbo-jumbo about complete communities, workforce housing, boutique agriculture, climate change and inclusiveness are mostly red herrings introduced to muddy water that is naturally clear.
I do not advocate that local workers should live elsewhere. However, the figures I have seen from the Industrial Group and StatsCan do not convince me that worker commutes for this area are worse than elsewhere in the CRD. In North Saanich, 875 more workers live here than work here.
While I agree with Mr. Shick that North Saanich is a very incomplete community, I do not see this as a problem.
Has he never been to Sidney? Taken together, both communities form a very synergistic whole as endorsed in the OCPs of each jurisdiction.
Why must North Saanich offer “different forms of housing”, whatever they may be? Should Sidney correspondingly offer different forms of agriculture?
These statements illustrate the absurdity inherent in insisting that every municipality be everything to everyone.