Growth requires clear electoral support
I am a new resident of North Saanich. I left Surrey behind for a reason and selected North Saanich for a reason. I am not anti development and understand that change happens.
When approving change, the District must make sure the changes are supported by the electors, will meet the future needs of residents, and actually be sustainable development.
It is necessary to take a holistic approach. Housing, commercial/retail, industrial and agricultural land needs to support and be supported by transportation links, job opportunities, schools and recreation. All the stuff that is in the District’s Context Statements and the Official Community Plan.
If we are going to increase population here, it must be done within regional guidelines and economically for current residents.
Surrey has shown that growth for growth’s sake does not reduce tax loads or improve livability.
Development will result in the densification of areas like mine, the south east quadrant. The area would appear to be ready for it now in terms of there being large lots serviced by sewer and water with a significant number of older homes such as mine.
We must keep higher density away from the smells and noise of productive farms in the ALR and away from sensitive environmental areas.
It is nearly impossible for the District to designate the end users of developments.
Market conditions will rule.
You can have some influence by design and densities allowed. For example, three floor walk up town houses with three bedrooms would probably attract couples with young families and won’t likely sell to seniors while similar floor sized ranchers would likely be snapped up by retirees.
I would suggest that while the current District Council may have the voting strength to change the OCP, it lacks a mandate from the voters.
It is my understanding that those now pushing for change to the OCP ran on a promise to not increase taxes and did not discuss the housing policy changes currently being discussed.
It is my opinion that changes contemplated to the OCP require validation in an election.
While I might very well argue for increasing residential growth in North Saanich and changing the OCP to accommodate this, I do not support making these changes without clear electoral support.