There is a local area plan for each of the 12 neighbourhoods in Saanich. (District of Saanich)

There is a local area plan for each of the 12 neighbourhoods in Saanich. (District of Saanich)

Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Saanich residents hoping to see local area planning resume can mark their calendars for September.

Tensions were high on Monday (March 1) as council voted 5-4 in favour of forwarding discussions about unpausing the local area plan (LAP) updates to the next strategic plan check-in set to take place this fall. Mayor Fred Haynes and Couns. Zac de Vries, Karen Harper and Ned Taylor were opposed.

READ ALSO: New report highlights need for diverse, affordable housing in Saanich

Coun. Nathalie Chambers, who made the motion, emphasized that she brought the matter to council after hearing from residents concerned about changes in their communities that they felt weren’t in line with the LAPs.

This created “neighbourhood disharmony” and a growing fear the pause would be indefinite, she said, adding that council’s role is to balance policy, strategic priorities and the will of residents, so if community members feel the carpet has been pulled from under them, something is wrong.

De Vries opposed the motion because he felt it was redundant and only served to delay the unpausing of LAP updates.

READ ALSO: Saanich council pauses updates to local area plans

The pause was implemented in December 2019 – despite dissent from some on council and in the community – so the district’s planning resources could be focused on completing several different studies looking at housing supply, diversity and affordability, he explained. Staff have been working to complete a provincially-mandated housing needs assessment, a housing strategy task force, the development of a housing strategy and a review of the district’s delivery of planning services – all of which will be finished by June.

Upon initiating the pause, council agreed to look at resuming the LAP updates once these four documents were completed and those who voted against Chambers’ motion voiced confusion saying it would delay the unpausing by three months.

READ ALSO: Saanich opts to develop Housing Strategy with stakeholder task force

De Vries felt it would be best for council to look at resuming LAP updates in the summer, and despite Monday’s vote, he plans to initiate such discussion upon completion of the four reports as planned.

“I don’t see the rationale in delaying,” he said, adding that waiting longer would be a mistake.

Chambers emphasized that the goal was not to delay until September, but rather to guarantee that the pause would not be indefinite. Sending the matter to the next strategic plan check-in served to set the conversation in stone, she said, noting she would still be happy to see it brought to council before then.


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

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

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

Just Posted

Emergency crews and animal control responding to a struck pedestrian and limping dog at Quadra and View streets Wednesday morning. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Pedestrian struck at Quadra and View

Emergency crews on scene

Victoria police arrested federal offender Travis Moore April 13, who was wanted for breaching the conditions of his statutory release. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police arrest federal offender following foot chase

Travis Moore, 28, was wanted for breaching the conditions of his statutory release

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Sooke’s Whiffin Spit in a blaze of glory. (Pete Knight photo)
Whiffin Spit in a blaze of glory. Transition Sooke is calling on the municipality to slow its growth. The group came up with a growth scenario proposal for the Official Community Plan (OCP) which looks different to than the survey scenarios that emerged from the district. (Pete Knight photo)
Transition Sooke calls for slower growth rate

Group submits alternate growth scenario for Official Community Plan review

The Farm Fresh website makes it easy to connect with local farmers. (Courtesy Farm Fresh)
Island Farm Fresh Guide lets residents explore local product

Guide appears in this week’s edition of Black Press Media newspapers from Duncan to Victoria

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

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

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines: Health Canada

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Most Read