Traffic, water problem for Co-op

As a previous letter writer alluded to (Food store better than more estates PNR May 11) there is a lot of confusion about facts that have been presented about the rezoning of the property on Keating X and West Saanich roads. This property is zoned Rural Estate not commercial. When purchasing this property 17 years ago the Co-op were not given recommendations to purchase this property from the council of the day. As per a statement by one of those councillors Bob Thompson at the public hearing on May 4, this was not entertained by council.

The fact that people were referring to this property as farmland came about, I believe, from statements from the Co-op that it cannot be used as farmland, although they have been claiming farm taxes on this property since purchase.

If this property is sold and purchasers use and pay taxes according to how they use it and according to our Official Community Plan then there is no conflict.

It is the hope of many that this property remain farmland but if it is sold and used as rural estate, even if it is not farmed, then that would, in my opinion, be preferable to a big box store which would directly affect our property values in the area. Once a store goes in it cannot be returned to farmland but rural estate owners have the choice of using their property for agriculture or not.

West Saanich Road is only two lanes, even with their traffic report and minor upgrades, it cannot help but greatly increase traffic flow in the area with the number of customers the Co-op is hoping to draw. This is of great concern to those of us who have to deal with this increased traffic on a daily basis.

There is also the issue of the water table increase with pavement and underground parking that is planned. I am aware a drainage study was done but I do believe that this was done on other projects in the area and now residents are faced with rising water table and flooding of their properties. I have little faith in these studies and once this goes in it is too late. I do not want our already wet property to be flooded and decrease our property value. That is not being a good neighbour in my opinion. We do not need another commercial site in this area. I think the Co-op (I am a member) should focus on possibly purchasing and upgrading/rebuilding in their current location as has been suggested to them.

Shelly Bottrell

Central Saanich