On Oct. 4, the North Saanich Residents Association organized a public meeting to discuss plans for increasing housing density in selected areas of the municipality. One application, at 9395 E. Saanich Rd., requests a reduction in lot size to 300m2, a 350 per cent increase in lot density.
It was felt by the NSRA the scale of change inherent in the current applications warranted a public information meeting. It was standing room only in St. John’s Church and expertly convened by Geoff Orr, the NSRA president.
Several attendees were quick to congratulate the NSRA for a balanced and fact-based meeting.
The topic of workforce housing, also termed affordable or attainable housing, quickly drew comments from many. A predominantly Sidney-based industry group has made a case for increased workforce housing in North Saanich as many of their employees endure long commutes.
Although many agreed workforce/affordable housing may be needed, they also questioned whether $400,000 dwellings were truly affordable for non-managerial workers or whether they would be actually occupied by employees from the industry group.
Perhaps the development at 9395 should just be more accurately termed market housing.
The high turnout at this meeting, which included several councillors, and the nature of the questions and comments, indicates a strong desire by residents for more background information and discussion before these significant changes are fast tracked through council.