Saanich council voted to pause the renewal of the District’s 12 Local Area Plans to the chagrin of some. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich mayor pens open letter addressing paused Local Area Plans

Council paused updates to the 12 neighbourhood plans in December to focus on housing

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes addressed concerns regarding the paused Local Area Plans in open letter to residents on Jan. 27.

In December, Saanich council voted to pause the Local Area Plans (LAPs) – objectives distinct to each of the District’s 12 neighbourhoods – in an effort to reallocate planning resources to housing availability and affordability in Saanich.

In the letter, Haynes explained that the plans were formed through “extensive community consultation” and were tailored to meet the needs identified by residents. Housing, accessibility, road safety, cycling infrastructure and environmental protection were highlighted.

READ ALSO: Saanich council pauses updates to local area plans

In the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, council directed staff to begin the process of updating the LAPs – a process that Haynes noted can take several years. The plan also included a housing strategy that he said was under-funded.

After rethinking the plan, council determined that resources needed to be refocused to “the urgent Saanich-wide housing need” and that temporarily pausing the LAPs renewal process would allow this. On Dec. 16, 2019, despite protest from residents and some members of council, the motion to hold off on updating the LAPs passed.

Haynes emphasized that re-allocating resources from LAPs updates would allow Saanich-wide housing issues to be addressed more quickly. He also noted that the community consultation that would have taken place for the LAPs renewal process will instead be conducted as part of the District’s review of Saanich’s housing needs.

READ ALSO: Saanich Talks event kicks off Local Area Plan updates

Haynes pointed out that the LAPs have not been “dismantled” and that the neighbourhood-specific environmental protections remain in place. The updates have just been put on hold, he explained.

Haynes also noted that new Development Cost Charges were also approved, which means that funds are coming in to the District which will help with “park acquisitions as well as to support improvements in neighbourhood sidewalks, cycle routes, parks and infrastructure.”

He closed the letter with a thank you to residents for their patience while Saanich’s housing needs are addressed.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

CommunityDistrict of Saanich

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

Just Posted

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

2020 Budget: ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to turn into $86M surplus, NDP say

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

Victoria budtenders become first private cannabis workers to unionize in Canada

Two of seven Clarity Cannabis storefronts vote to join UFCW 1518 union

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read