Saanich community association chairs say the network will look at housing issues in 2020

Developments, affordable housing, garden suites, and institutional land will be a focus next year

Freshly elected first-time Saanich Community Association Network (SCAN) Chair Don Gunn said the hub for local community groups will tackle the issue of housing in the new year.

Gunn and Vice-Chair Eric Dahli were elected to chair the network of associations on Dec. 4. They will chair the network into the new year. They said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is scheduled to speak to the group about the direction they’re going in March 2020.

“Some of the things we’re going to be looking at include how we handle developments, affordable housing and how it impacts communities, infill housing, garden suites, and looking at using institutional land for housing,” Gunn said.

Gunn said densifying housing in the area is inevitable. “We’re going to densify, it’s just a matter of trying to maintain the character of the community at the same time,” Gunn said.

Dahli and Gunn said they’d like to see the associations attract more young people. They encourage people, especially young people, to get involved with their local community association.

“The majority of our members are retired, which is great because they bring a lot of experience, but we need more young people,” Gunn said.

“All the associations try to attract new and younger members. We aim for a balance, and a gender balance, because we want to reflect the community,” Dahli said.

“Each community association is a voice unto itself, we don’t speak for all the associations and we have no statutory power, we’re really about sharing information between the associations and we liaise with the Victoria Community Association Network too,” Dahli said. “The nice thing about us is we’re recognized by Saanich Council and they give us some funding, which is non-existent elsewhere.”

For more information on Saanich’s community associations, visit saanich.ca/EN/main/community/community-associations.html.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com

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Eric Dahli and Don Gunn met at the Cadboro Bay Starbucks for coffee to discuss the upcoming year for the Saanich Community Association Network. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

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