OUR VIEW: Housing or parking?

Local leaders are going to have to be willing to make the concessions that will make such developments possible.

Bringing affordable housing to the Saanich Peninsula was going to take a strong stomach if it was ever going to happen.

Councillors with the Town of Sidney will have their guts tested as they work with the Greater Victoria Rental Development Society (GVRDS) to see if a proposed 52-units of workforce housing is even possible in the community.

Apart from people’s knee-jerk reaction to the terms ‘affordable’ or ‘workforce’ when it comes to new housing, local leaders are going to have to be willing to make the concessions that will make such developments possible.

With the high price of land working against them, the GVRDS has to ask for a relaxation of taxes and other fees if it can both buy the land at market value and pay for the construction in the first place. If none of that comes to pass, it’s conceivable that one of two things will happen: the lot will remain parking space, or will eventually be bought up for higher-priced housing that only compounds the issue of affordability on the Peninsula.

The community, at various levels, has stated it want more residential spaces that are easier for working families, younger people and working stiffs to afford. Now it’s time for them to put their money where their mouths are.

Diversifying the downtown will help, as Councillor Tim Chad says, put more feet on the street. Will this one project help solve all of Sidney’s economic issues and end the housing crunch here? Not at all. But it’s a start.

We encourage people to take a close look at this proposed project — and to weigh the pros and cons as equally as possible.

And that includes tackling the parking issue that seems to be taking centre stage. Building this project will remove one parking lot from the pool and it seems to be, so far, getting all the attention. We’d argue that this is a red herring. Yes, people seem to think parking is a problem in Sidney but if it’s a community worth visiting and shopping in, people will find that taking a few extra steps isn’t that big a deal.

Just Posted

West Shore Parks and Rec offers holiday childcare alternatives

Camps available on days many daycares close

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Expect rolling street closures, bus delays as truck convoy moves through region Saturday

The annual Truck Light Convoy will roll through the region starting at 5:45 p.m.

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Most Read