Council responsible for the drama

Once this development begins, residents will see their taxes go up to accommodate the need for added services

Thank you to the News Review’s reported coverage on North Saanich housing development. As a resident of North Saanich for the past 28 years I have several concerns regarding development of this magnitude and whether this is the beginning of a slippery slope.

Why did the council as a whole approve hiring a consultant from Kelowna for a housing strategy if they couldn’t ask some hard questions? This appears to be a move to revise the Official Community Plan. Over 1,200 residents of North Saanich were opposed to development introduced in the OCP when Councilman Daly was the mayor. I recall council had to reschedule a meeting at Mary Winspear to hold the number of North Saanich residents who showed up to get questions answered.

As far as the division at council, this has always existed — at least for the past 28 years. What is new is council members walking out when they don’t agree with the line of questioning to address business in front of the Council as whole.

Elected officials should not have the luxury of this behaviour, nor do the consultants hired to present a report to council. People are elected to represent all residents of North Saanich and many of the questions being raised by council would be raised by the public. Council is responsible for creating this drama and those who walked out should face a fine for not doing their job and disrupting business in front of council.

On the Sept. 9 meeting I’m sure there will be a large showing of residents who are on both sides of the fence of the housing strategy.

I’m sure this coverage will draw out people who were not aware of this going on over the summer holidays.

Has North Saanich invited council representatives from Sidney and Central Saanich? Have they provided them with a copy of the housing strategy for their input? How will the population growth impact our local hospital, volunteer fire department, schools, recreation centre  and traffic problems in Sidney.

Developer fees will pay for sewer, curb and gutter, road and road access for their development.

Will developers now be required to pay for schools, hospitals and fire halls to serve the density growth, especially multi-family complexes to accommodate affordable housing for families?

Once this development begins, residents will see their taxes go up to accommodate the need for added services.

How will a changing  “elected” council and Administration deal with this in the coming years if this housing strategy is adopted and building and development permits are being issued for multiple sites?

Jo-Anne Berezanski

North Saanich