There’s always the temptation at this time of year for editorials to make predictions for the coming 365 days. So, we’re just going to give in and talk about what’s probable for the Saanich Peninsula in 2016.
It’s only natural for us here at the News Review to look ahead, because as we go through all of our editions from 2015 to bring our readers a selection of top stories and photos, we come across issues that began last year — and will continue into 2016 and beyond.
So, like humanity’s continued domestication of the dog, there are some easy predictions to make for 2016.
In Central Saanich, there are a few easy bets on what will be issues in the new year. The proposed new memorial cenotaph is one, as public art always has a way of polarizing a community.
Next, Island View Beach Regional Park. As the Capital Regional District looks to create a management plan for it, neighbours will rally to stop it, leaving gaps under the current plan for the area, into which development might slip.
Finally, the goose problem will be back — as the geese aren’t really going anywhere, even after a cull of their numbers.
In North Saanich, the community will have to watch out for its input into changes to the District’s growth areas. Council wants to repeal or change them significantly and have been working to do so under the radar. Residents might have to follow their politicians around to get news on that front, as a municipal hall rebuild may drive meetings to new venues.
Big changes are ahead for Sidney. There are at least three more high rises (up to four stories tall) in the works already. Debate over how the Town grows up will continue.
Next, the fire hall project will take centre stage as a site is found and approved — and its price tag starts to really sink in to taxpayers.
Angst over the development of nearby retail sites will rear its head again — and wane as the process of creating them burns through the year and pushes on to 2017 or 2018 — or longer.
Those are a few easy predictions to make on the Saanich Peninsula. The PNR will be watching to see how they unfold and to help our readers follow the many other issues that arise during the new year.