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LETTER: OCP review taking North Saanich off course

Re: the article ‘Former mayor questions North Saanich’s OCP review in the Dec. 17 Peninsula News Review. I would like to express my gratitude for Alice Finall’s commentary on this issue. It takes a unique insight, honed by years of experience in such matters, to lift the veil on what’s really going on.

We have to ask ourselves, do we want to become more like the Langfords and Sidneys of the world, or do we still value our rural character? Of course the developers will say it’s all about affordable housing in order to gain greater influence. But for them, it’s really about money. We cannot solve Greater Victoria’s housing issues by simply allowing more and more development. Such short-term profit taking by a few has long-term consequences for the rest, such as greater congestion and traffic, including the Pat Bay commute.

The council’s slow drift away from the OCP’s original spirit and intent, is running contrary to our region’s planning values. It’s a slow and insidious change, almost imperceptible to most, but it leaves forever consequences that can never be erased. No one has an issue with a healthy and balanced review of our planning direction, but if there is undue influence by developers, or anyone, seemingly behind closed doors, then that is of great concern.

Thank you Alice for your insight.

Jeff Stanhope

North Saanich