Suit against Vantreight project brings out opinions

The board of directors of the Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich, along with 20 to 30 paid members of RRoCSS, which includes some 20 per cent of voters at the meetings who are not residents or taxpayers of our municipality, has launched a Don Quixote style lawsuit against the Central Saanich council to rescind the approval on the Vantreight non-farmland proposal.

A road is the first sign of the development beginning.

A road is the first sign of the development beginning.

The board of directors of the Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich, along with 20 to 30 paid members of RRoCSS, which includes some 20 per cent of voters at the meetings who are not residents or taxpayers of our municipality, has launched a Don Quixote style lawsuit against the Central Saanich council to rescind the approval on the Vantreight non-farmland proposal.

The decision by council should be binding and not be brought down by a frivolous lawsuit. I agree with Ron Kubek, a respectable realtor, that the RRoCSS board of directors have lost focus in what the majority of residents want. Why should a handful of people take us along a path that most residents do not want.

I believe that Ian Cameron and the board have focused a vendetta-style attack on our council and the Vantreights for their own agenda and should not be tolerated.

Eventually we will have to foot the bill for this suit. We as taxpayers were never asked, so why should we have to pay for disgruntled peoples’ decisions?

Ron Vanzetta,

Central Saanich

Development not on farmland

This development does not occupy farmland. As to growth being contained, the Official Community Plan is a guideline, not a bible. Personally, I don’t remember all Central Saanich residents voting on its adoption, let alone review.  I do agree with the concept of food security — something this development helps provide for the long term.  

Still the residents and taxpayers of  Central Saanich are being sued through their elected council by Ian Cameron and his organization the Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich. What number of approximately 16,000 people living in Central Saanich have membership in this society? Do all the members agree with the actions of Mr. Cameron?  He says he is relying on outside sources to sue us. All people and organizations making such donations or loans in this endeavour from outside the municipality should be declared and publicly revealed. It would certainly affect my future donations to such groups.

Unlike most, I am directly impacted by the proposed development, however, my only complaint is the positioning of the access road. It does nothing to solve the speeding traffic along Wallace Drive and is too close to the North Saanich boundary/housing.

It should, as originally planned by the Vantreights, use the old farm road. With a three-way stop, it would slow traffic in both directions and reduce speeds at the blind corner heading south where two farm roads intersect with Wallace Drive. However, the placement of the road along the municipal boundary was an Agricultural Land Reserve committee stipulation for securing the two parcels of land together. I would like to see that changed in the name of safety and neighbourly consideration.

Steve Newman,

Central Saanich

Most farmland not used to grow food

We hear more hollow rhetoric than actual sense in regards to saving farmland.

One needs only to drive around the Saanich Peninsula to see that much of the supposed farmland is not being used for food production.

Why is this? Because much of the land is held as estates by those who never had any intention of farming; while other parcel owners do not have the time, energy or commitment it takes to farm.

Farmland is not scarce; scarce are those willing to farm.

Before too many more spout off about the Vantreight development proposal remember this: they are farmers who want to continue to farm on a property that, like only a few others, will still be large enough to be viable.

OCPs and land use bylaws are useful tools in guiding and defining the communities in which we live but when they  stand in the way of common sense or are employed as a means of exclusiveness, we all lose.

If people really care about farmland protection and food security, then they should take the time to talk with real farmers and get a more balanced picture.

Farmers like the Michells, Sluggetts, Vantreights and yes, farmers like me.

Brett Smyth,

North Saanich

Council didn’t represent community

Central Saanich residents are being railroaded by pro-development members of council who have failed to represent the best interests of the community and refuse to respect our OCP.

Citizens have expressed strong support for preserving agricultural and rural land. Council’s approval of the Vantreight housing development/rezoning application is contrary to that vision and places us at risk of urban sprawl.

The scale and location of the 57-lot subdivision is inconsistent with Central Saanich’s OCP, Regional Context Statement and the Regional Growth Strategy.

The Vantreight decision sets a dangerous precedent. By allowing rural and agricultural land to be bulldozed for development, Central Saanich has opened the door for rezoning requests from other speculators and farmers. The future of Saanich Peninsula farms and food security are at serious risk.

There needs to be a moratorium on unchecked development and sprawl in the CRD to preserve rural and agricultural land. It’s time for the CRD to defend the Regional Growth Strategy and Urban Containment Boundaries and uphold the agreement signed by Central Saanich and member municipalities to prevent urban sprawl. The agreement is meaningless if it is not enforced. Ultimately, the responsibility for compliance rests with the CRD, as it is neither reasonable or fair to expect residents to use their limited personal resources to pursue compliance through the courts.

Legislation and enforcement measures are needed to protect the rights of citizens and their OCPs from irresponsible councils that ignore them.

The CRD must hold the District of Central Saanich accountable and overturn the Vantreight decision.

J.B. Anaka,

Central Saanich

The board of directors of the Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich, along with 20 to 30 paid members of RRoCSS, which includes some 20 per cent of voters at the meetings who are not residents or taxpayers of our municipality, has launched a Don Quixote style lawsuit against the Central Saanich council to rescind the approval on the Vantreight non-farmland proposal.

The decision by council should be binding and not be brought down by a frivolous lawsuit. I agree with Ron Kubek, a respectable realtor, that the RRoCSS board of directors have lost focus in what the majority of residents want. Why should a handful of people take us along a path that most residents do not want.

I believe that Ian Cameron and the board have focused a vendetta-style attack on our council and the Vantreights for their own agenda and should not be tolerated.

Eventually we will have to foot the bill for this suit. We as taxpayers were never asked, so why should we have to pay for disgruntled peoples’ decisions?

Ron Vanzetta,

Central Saanich

Development not on farmland

This development does not occupy farmland. As to growth being contained, the Official Community Plan is a guideline, not a bible. Personally, I don’t remember all Central Saanich residents voting on its adoption, let alone review.  I do agree with the concept of food security — something this development helps provide for the long term.  

Still the residents and taxpayers of  Central Saanich are being sued through their elected council by Ian Cameron and his organization the Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich. What number of approximately 16,000 people living in Central Saanich have membership in this society? Do all the members agree with the actions of Mr. Cameron?  He says he is relying on outside sources to sue us. All people and organizations making such donations or loans in this endeavour from outside the municipality should be declared and publicly revealed. It would certainly affect my future donations to such groups.

Unlike most, I am directly impacted by the proposed development, however, my only complaint is the positioning of the access road. It does nothing to solve the speeding traffic along Wallace Drive and is too close to the North Saanich boundary/housing.

It should, as originally planned by the Vantreights, use the old farm road. With a three-way stop, it would slow traffic in both directions and reduce speeds at the blind corner heading south where two farm roads intersect with Wallace Drive. However, the placement of the road along the municipal boundary was an Agricultural Land Reserve committee stipulation for securing the two parcels of land together. I would like to see that changed in the name of safety and neighbourly consideration.

Steve Newman,

Central Saanich

Most farmland not used to grow food

We hear more hollow rhetoric than actual sense in regards to saving farmland.

One needs only to drive around the Saanich Peninsula to see that much of the supposed farmland is not being used for food production.

Why is this? Because much of the land is held as estates by those who never had any intention of farming; while other parcel owners do not have the time, energy or commitment it takes to farm.

Farmland is not scarce; scarce are those willing to farm.

Before too many more spout off about the Vantreight development proposal remember this: they are farmers who want to continue to farm on a property that, like only a few others, will still be large enough to be viable.

OCPs and land use bylaws are useful tools in guiding and defining the communities in which we live but when they  stand in the way of common sense or are employed as a means of exclusiveness, we all lose.

If people really care about farmland protection and food security, then they should take the time to talk with real farmers and get a more balanced picture.

Farmers like the Michells, Sluggetts, Vantreights and yes, farmers like me.

Brett Smyth,

North Saanich

Council didn’t represent community

Central Saanich residents are being railroaded by pro-development members of council who have failed to represent the best interests of the community and refuse to respect our OCP.

Citizens have expressed strong support for preserving agricultural and rural land. Council’s approval of the Vantreight housing development/rezoning application is contrary to that vision and places us at risk of urban sprawl.

The scale and location of the 57-lot subdivision is inconsistent with Central Saanich’s OCP, Regional Context Statement and the Regional Growth Strategy.

The Vantreight decision sets a dangerous precedent. By allowing rural and agricultural land to be bulldozed for development, Central Saanich has opened the door for rezoning requests from other speculators and farmers. The future of Saanich Peninsula farms and food security are at serious risk.

There needs to be a moratorium on unchecked development and sprawl in the CRD to preserve rural and agricultural land. It’s time for the CRD to defend the Regional Growth Strategy and Urban Containment Boundaries and uphold the agreement signed by Central Saanich and member municipalities to prevent urban sprawl. The agreement is meaningless if it is not enforced. Ultimately, the responsibility for compliance rests with the CRD, as it is neither reasonable or fair to expect residents to use their limited personal resources to pursue compliance through the courts.

Legislation and enforcement measures are needed to protect the rights of citizens and their OCPs from irresponsible councils that ignore them.

The CRD must hold the District of Central Saanich accountable and overturn the Vantreight decision.

J.B. Anaka,

Central Saanich