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LETTER: Residents don’t want North Saanich to become an imitation of Langford

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the OCP proposal which would have a truly devastating impact on the community of North Saanich.

First, I do not believe that council has done a very good job of informing the citizens of the extreme changes to our community under this proposal. The people need to know that we are at risk of losing the very essence of what makes North Saanich special. In a world of ever-growing housing density and traffic congestion, we must treasure our rural farm fields, beautiful acreages and quiet side streets. If we don’t protect this pristine portion of the Peninsula now, it will be lost to us forever as developers chip away at what we value most.

We personally chose to buy our home in this community because of its low density, bucolic rural nature, access to parks and beaches and reasonable property taxes. I do not want to see Dean Park turned into high-density triplexes with a 7-Eleven down the street, or Deep Cove or Lands End become an imitation of Langford’s High Street with congested housing. We walk our dogs regularly in historic Dominion Brook Park and value the unique flora and space for quiet reflection. We do not wish to see it subdivided and abutted by condominiums.

Second, it does not appear that the general consensus of residents is being listened to. I was able to attend one of the very few pop-up sessions held during non-business hours (and the only one reportedly with adequate available parking). At that meeting, I listened to a chorus of concerned neighbours pleading with our elected representatives and paid “consultants” for their voices to be heard.

It is not enough for council to take the word of the Vancouver-based consultants who claim that they’ve got input from about 400 people (the consultant at the pop-up was very clear that not all of these voices actually live here).

I hope council will do the right thing and stop this process until they are able to truly engage our community and get buy-in from the current residents on OCP plans before taking any further action.

Stephanie Carson

North Saanich