Coun. Zac de Vries joined Mayor Fred Haynes in submitting a notice of motion asking Saanich staff to revise a bylaw critics say discriminates against students. (Saanich News/File)

Saanich to revisit ‘discriminatory’ occupancy bylaw

Seven students evicted this month based on the bylaw

Saanich is moving ahead with plans to amend a bylaw that led to the eviction of seven, unrelated university students.

Next month, council plans to debate a joint motion from Mayor Fred Haynes and Coun. Zac de Vries that would change provisions in Section 5.20 of Saanich’s zoning bylaw. It states that the number of “persons unrelated by blood or marriage” in a dwelling “including boarders, shall not exceed four.”

RELATED: Evicted UVic student questions Saanich’s housing bylaw

RELATED: Students struggling with Greater Victoria’s tight housing market

Saanich cited the section in evicting seven University of Victoria (UVic) students from a residence in the 1800 block of Teakwood Place near the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Gordon Head Road. They have until Jan. 31 to leave the house.

The public first heard of this issue when one of the students Emma Edmonds called the bylaw “discriminatory” in calling for its amendment. Edmonds, for her part, said that she was advocating for others, not for herself and her housemates.

“When students say to Saanich ‘we need affordable housing’, we are dismissed and given a reality check,” she said during an appearance before council earlier this month. Students are told to move elsewhere, while on the other hand, Saanich readily listens to non-students, who complain about students living in their neighbourhood, according to Edmonds.

This appeal found a receptive audience among members of council including Haynes and de Vries, whose notice of motion will appear on council’s desk Feb. 4.

Of the 18,000 undergraduate students that attend UVic, 78 per cent live off-campus. While some live with their parents or other family members, many are competing with other students and non-students for an increasingly shrinking supply of rental housing with several factors stacked against them.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read