Email letters@comoxvalleyrecord.com

LETTER: Development devastating Peninsula’s natural surroundings

I echo Sue Starkey’s comment to “Get developers out of the OCP process in North Saanich.” I previously wrote a letter to our local paper thanking Mayor Finall for listening to residents over the developers who accused Mayor Finall of leaving them “blowing in the wind.” Residents showed up in droves to speak out against the council who ignored residents’ concerns and worry of following what Sidney did to a once affordable senior destination.

North Saanich has hired a Vancouver firm to conduct the OCP engagement. Our council has started the work for developers by ignoring our mixed land use, clear-cutting to maximize housing, relaxing building envelopes and setbacks, subdividing half-acre minimum lots to build subdivisions, and altering natural ground water in place of brick and mortar. Don’t take my words as a warning, just take a drive along Landsend Road to Moses Point and along Norris Road. These roads now look like urban areas. Waterfront acreage being carved up to put three or four homes on these lands, while council says the solution is to build more housing, but our access to the treatment plant is not available because Sidney has tripled its population for development.

Residents are witnessing an assault on nature. When you talk to council they preach about climate change and their responsibility which now comes across as double talk with what we are witnessing for development. We are left wondering whose job is it to lead and make the hard decisions to address climate change? It appears it is the citizens, not politicians/policy makers. What we are seeing is a partnership between our local government and industry. We are in this climate mess because the economy has trumped humanity and now this cancer has infected our local government.

It is simple science folks, you cannot remove all the trees – this is what filters the air we breathe. Over-building along the ocean front amidst rising sea levels is willful ignorance. The developers have decimated natural greenspace once the home for our wildlife habitat.

Our council has failed in Sue’s words to “preserve and protect” and I will add council has delegated our eco-system to developers, who do not share in the sacrifices needed to slow down climate change. More population means more shopping, more pickle courts, more schools and more services. This all equates to more natural land lost and higher taxes. Affordable housing now means 450 square foot condos for $1,000 a square foot with expensive strata fees and ever-increasing property taxes.

If North Saanich wants to ignore its residents and follow Sidney and Central Saanich, residents should push for a referendum to amalgamate the Peninsula to one local government. This council has turned their responsibility over to the developers, so why should taxpayers pay for multiple firehalls, city halls, ambulance services, policing, etc.

The failures are mounting while residents who will be impacted are shut out of engagement while in government regulated COVID lockdown.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

North Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From right: Brad Cameron, BCEHS superintendent of patient care delivery for Greater Victoria, with primary care paramedics Em Funk, Tyrone Trotter, Fiona Galvin and Peter Hill at the Leigh Road station. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore paramedics didn’t waver when faced with COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Emergency Health Services personnel are this year’s Courage and Bravery Award recipients

February is Black History Month. (Photo: Government of Canada)
Camosun College highlighting Black content with research guide during Black History Month

The collection includes a range of works by Black authors and creators

Ownership of SISȻENEM — also known as Halibut Island located east off Sidney Island — has transferred to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council after The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) had purchased the island for $1.55 million. (The Land Conservancy/Submitted)
SISȻENEM (Halibut Island) transfers to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council under historic agreement

The Land Conservancy purchased the 9.67-acre island for $1.55 million with help from unnamed donor

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
UPDATED: All B.C. Ferries sailings cancelled due to wind, weather

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Amy Morrison was surprised to find a note on her windshield for parking on a public street with no restrictions in south Oak Bay where she works. (Amy Morrison Photo)
Oak Bay resident uses notes to claim street parking

‘You must have noticed, we park in front of OUR HOUSE,’ note writer says

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read