I was on council in Central Saanich from 1996 to 2008. Of the politicians elected today, many of them came after the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) was adopted.
The RGS was built directly from the municipalities’ own Official Community Plans, which itself is a product of direct community consultation.
The new councillors and mayors today that say the CRD should not be telling municipalities what to do should refer to their zoning maps.
You can literally see the outline of most municipalities by the change of densities and uses along the borders, such as industrial and commercial being pressed up against agriculture. But the greatest problems are developments approved in isolation that create traffic jams and wasted tax dollars in building and servicing infrastructure that leads to nowhere.
What is happening in Central Saanich is a test for what kind future we want. Municipalities must choose to either work together cooperatively or face more poor planning decisions that are out of sync with the greater community.
Neither citizens nor the province will continue to accept one-off decisions. We are at a cross roads, and local politicians need to be reminded that the only alternative to working together within the RGS is regional amalgamation, and the near complete loss of local interests.