PENINSULA LETTERS: Common sense also means staying true to the facts
Recently, writers, Glover, Slater and Godfrey have all written particularly venomous letters referring to Councilor Browne’s “common sense” and “eyesore” comments.
Not one of these writers bothered to make any reference to the actual facts. Most disturbing was Mr. Glover’s failure to do so. Mr. Glover, according to his web profile, has a long history in print journalism. As such, we have the expectation that he would be duty bound to stay true to the facts, (Although, Bernstein and Woodward, of Watergate fame, have recently lamented the tendency of modern journalists to abandon hard fact for sensationalism.)
Mr. Glover and the other writers, in their rush to castigate Councilor Browne, have chosen to ignore the truths underpinning his comments. To whit; there were approximately 30 letters from neighbors written in support of the proposed subdivision. As the last un-built lot in the neighborhood, it had become something of a dumping ground and an eyesore, as was pointed out by one neighbor to Councilor Browne and the members of the Advisory Planning Committee during a site visit.
In these particular real world circumstances, a subdivision authorization is quite logical. This does not, by any means, make it easy for would be developers to deliberately downgrade their properties in order to make a quick buck. To suggest so, as these writers have, is to profess profound ignorance of what is involved in the subdivision process and its associated costs.
Furthermore, while it is true that staff recommended against subdivision, when the APC examined the governing bylaw, they found that the lot did, in fact, meet the minimum size requirement of a third of an acre.
The fact is that years earlier, North Saanich staff erred in conversion math from imperial to metric, thereby artificially increasing the mandated lot size to more than a third of an acre. Staff stated they were bound by the (false) metric size, hence their recommendation. Commonsense, basic math and fairness formed the basis for the APC’s unanimous recommendation to council.
It is a sad thing all three writers omitted simple fact checking and opted for the currently popular North Saanich pastime of “Bash the Councillors.”
As we are in an election year, I wonder at the motives of Mr. Glover in particular, who is in the business of writing to shape public opinion. I ask the question, Is he a concerned citizen, or a hired gun?