LETTERS: Residents say ‘no’ to carriage houses

Readers respond to Saanich News’ Sept. 8 editorial

Re: Saanich must move on carriage houses, Saanich News editorial, Sept. 8

How do we know we need garden suites, how can Saanich say “the lack of available suites presents a crisis,” when Saanich has no idea as to the current numbers of illegal or legal secondary suites nor their impact on neighbourhoods built for single family Saanich homes? Are we to have ever home turned into multi-dwellings?

Saanich council continues to tell us they are pressured to raise taxes, while they sit on a gold mine. Before we imposing more pressure on our neighbourhoods. All secondary suites must start paying for their impact on our neighbourhoods, infrastructure, street parking, etc.

These suites are a business tax them like one. Let everyone benefit from these illegal unlicensed businesses. A good example my neighbours two bedroom secondary suite with a family of four pays just $230 more on property tax then our home, while the owner brings in $16,000 a year?

Another inequity and pressure on the infrastructure and the soon to be the new sewer tax, I am sure secondary suites wouldn’t be paying for those extra flushes. Garden suites will just become another burden on our neighbourhoods and infrastructure,while they line the pockets of greedy landlords.

While Saanich council sits on their hands and wonder why such wonderful neighbourhoods have become one large parking lot.

Barrie Szekely

Saanich

Re: Saanich must move on carriage houses, Saanich News editorial, Sept. 8

Brainstorming for ways to increase the housing supply in Greater Victoria is useful. However, I am distressed that carriage houses and garden suites are among a list of potential solutions.

I treasure the green space (grass, trees, shrubs, gardens, and empty ground) that backyards give our community. Backyards are buffer zones. Green space in backyards contribute to our air quality, noise reduction, and overall serenity. Although sheds or garages are in some backyards, these structures are not permitted as places for living quarters or venues for industrial businesses. Nor should sheds or garages be converted into other purposes.

I don’t want to walk the perimeter of my backyard and be subjected to backyard dwellings obstructing my vision of yard to yard flowing green space. I do not want permanent structures displacing Gordon Head’s existing backyard milieu.

Furthermore, our municipality ought not misspend $45,000 on a study to explore implementing building permits for the construction and/or occupancy of carriage houses or garden suites.Simply erase the idea from the list of affordable housing solutions.

Suzanne Slater

Saanich

Re: Saanich must move on carriage houses, Saanich News editorial, Sept. 8

Obviously the writer for this article has not had the experience of having both an upper story suite and a carriage house looming over their own home. I am against Saanich passing laws providing a cart blanche for anyone to build enormous carriage houses on postage stamp lots like the one next door.

This act by Saanich demonstrates insensitivity and overcrowding for the rest of the neighbours, nothing to say about tearing down 20 trees to do this.

Not only has Saanich allowed the building of the carriage house, but an entire separate suite has been built above the small original house with virtually no place for parking. Saanich should attach all carriage houses to a request for variance plan.

This way neighbours can say yes or no to the proposal before it is built, avoid confrontations and respect the time, money and decision making for both the builder and the rest of the neighbours.

Ter Wen

Saanich

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