Case Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), says comments from Coun. Nathalie Chambers are ‘uninformed.’ (Black Press File)

Case Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), says comments from Coun. Nathalie Chambers are ‘uninformed.’ (Black Press File)

Head of Greater Victoria builders calls Saanich councillor ‘uninformed’

Saanich will recieve a staff update on development cost charges in August

The head of the association representing local builders said comments from a Saanich councillor are not helpful when it comes to relations between council and development community.

“It appears all she knows how to do is pour gas on a fire,” said Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), when asked about how helpful comments from Coun. Nathalie Chambers were when it comes to patching up relations between developers and council.

Chambers had said earlier that developers exercise undue influence on Saanich politics. “It is open season for developers,” she said. “I do not see affordable housing been built in Saanich, but I see developers and lobby groups driving the bus.”

RELATED: Saanich councillor accuses development community of undue influence

She made these comments in calling for the immediate implementation of new development cost charges (DCCs). Saanich defines DCCs as fees collected from land developers on a user-pay basis to fund the cost of growth-related infrastructure such as sanitary sewers, transportation, and storm drainage as well as parks.

Edge disagrees with Chambers’ critique.

“If you check with Saanich, you will find the purchase of the Blenkinsop land to protect the environmental assets was funded by DCCs,” he said. “New homebuyers via developers paid for that asset yet received no recognition.”

Edge said Chambers acts as if developers take advantage of the community when in reality developers contribute significantly to parks, and upgrade roads and other infrastructure.

“[Chambers] does not understand the development industry and appears to have zero interest in learning,” he said. “I don’t think the public want to be guided by the uninformed.”

RELATED: Developers could get a break on development cost charges in Saanich

Council next month will receive a staff update on DCCs. Saanich council earlier this year delayed three readings of a new bylaw, which would have raised development cost charges (DCCs) following last minute lobbying from the development community.

Council — with Chambers opposed and Coun. Colin Plant absent — also asked staff to estimate the cost implications for Saanich if the municipality were to delay implementation of the bylaw by six months, 12 months, 24 months and 36 months following adoption of the bylaw.

Chambers argued that waiving DCCs amounts to a subsidy. Developers said higher rates would hurt housing affordability.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read