Saanich councillors don’t support their neighbours to the north building a new 40,000-square-foot Peninsula Co-op market outside of the Capital Regional District’s previously agreed-upon areas of growth.
While Central Saanich has made attempts to allow the store to be built near West Saanich and Keating Cross roads, the CRD won’t allow amendments to the municipality’s regional context statement, as it’s not consistent with the CRD’s overarching regional growth strategy.
On Monday, Saanich council threw its support behind the CRD’s position that Central Saanich should not amend its context statement to build outside of designated growth areas.
“This is an egregious request for change,” said Coun. Vic Derman.
“No one ever likes to oppose other municipalities or anything of that nature, but in this case, the regional importance of an agreement of how we’ll have a sustainable future overrides that concern.”
Coun. Judy Brownoff said municipalities need to adhere to the regional growth strategy, as it’s designed to control regional spending.
“(If it’s not followed) we’ll be running more pipes, building more roads, having to change regional transit routes. That’s why the regional growth strategy is so important for us – so we can manage the regional infrastructure in a sustainable way,” she said.
The dispute between Central Saanich and the CRD will be settled by final proposal arbitration. That process is expected to take place next month.
Councillors Susan Brice, Nichola Wade and Leif Wergeland did not take part in discussions Monday, as they are all Co-op members.