Re: Full House On Housing Debate, 1 Feb., 2013.
My associates and I would like to thank the PNR for a thorough exposition of the current state of the Public Consultation on housing density policy in North Saanich.
However, I would like to correct the phrase, “… a small group of concerned citizens leading the opposition to this process…”.
We are definitely not opposed to the process, but do have concerns about the terms of reference and their subsequent implementation. Moreover, through various community sources, we believe that, although our group may be few in numbers, we are confident that we represent the sentiments of a growing number of North Saanich residents in this matter.
As mentioned in the article, we are concerned both the public meeting and the exit survey jumped quickly to the question of “what kind of higher density housing and where should it be?”
Although the consultant, a majority of Council, the development community and the Sidney-North Saanich Industrial Group may feel that the case for higher density housing is established and watertight, many residents are not able to embrace that conclusion easily.
We sense that, on that question, many people feel uninformed or skeptical or both.
For these reasons we have always felt that the public consultation process is valuable but should have started with the question, “Do you believe that there is a need for higher density housing within North Saanich?”
It is worth noting the impetus for this hurried housing initiative and the subsequent consultation process costing at least $38,500, was mainly from the development community and their supporters on council.
It did not come from a majority in the community.