Keating needs thought

Central Saanich needs to put the horse(s) before the cart.

Central Saanich needs to put the horse(s) before the cart.

Having resided in Central Saanich for more than 25 years, we are certainly supportive of allowing appropriate development on Keating X Road.

However, were aghast to read in Central Saanich opens doors to large-scale stores (PNR Sept. 21) of the motion passed regarding allowing larger footprints for stores and would like to suggest that the current Central Saanich council defer any further motions and expenditures which alter the OCP and impact the municipality until after the November election.

If the decision was rationally discussed, researched and reviewed, we seem to have missed corresponding public evidence? Obvious to most residents in the immediate area, serious traffic considerations are required prior to opening up the Keating area to potential big box stores. Perhaps council may wish to examine the traffic footprint neighbouring communities have encountered with their development of large parcels.

We understand suitable land was expropriated several decades ago in order to provide better access to the Keating industrial area. That eventually fell by the wayside. Allowing large commercial industry would significantly increase oversized delivery vehicles shifting gears uphill on Island View Road, which will impact and eventually destroy the current rural infrastructure.

Furthermore, the north access to Tanner Road continues to be a fatality waiting to happen. During the summer months with hourly southbound ferry congestion, in tandem with increased local traffic, industry and tour buses departing popular tourist attractions heading south off Keating, one takes their life in their hands turning left off Pat Bay onto Tanner Road. We were hopeful appropriate safety alterations would be implemented to prevent further accidents at that intersection. However, all that was produced was left turns prohibited off Tanner, and the access lane on Pat Bay extended to allow even more traffic taking a chance of crossing in front of oncoming vehicles speeding south.

The topic of Peninsula Co-op’s expansion has become quite political and tiresome, and evidentially precipitated the subject of allowing larger industry. Did the Peninsula Co-op ever undertake a market survey? We’ve been members since moving here, and unless we were missed, have never seen any type of questionnaire or survey to allow member’s input. An in house petition certainly didn’t allow for comment.  The current site draws potential customers from Tanner Ridge, and most of Central Saanich. With numerous other local food stores competing, we would rarely frequent the store if it were relocated.

We will personally be undertaking due diligence in assessing incoming candidates running for Central Saanich council in the November election, and sincerely hope our area will remain a safe, attractive, thriving, sustainable agricultural and recreational community in the future.

L. Ackerman,

Central Saanich