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LETTER: North Saanich outside urban containment area

The notion that North Saanich is failing in its obligation to be a complete community is ludicrous; North Saanich was never intended to be a complete community in the first place.

This idea runs entirely counter to the Capital Regional District’s policy outlined in the 2018 Regional Growth Strategy – a policy that was negotiated over a period of 10 years and has only been policy for the past three. The top three objectives of the policy are: significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions; keep urban settlement compact; and protect the integrity of rural communities.

An urban containment policy area was established to reach these goals and the policy states that 95 per cent of the region’s new housing shall be contained within the urban containment policy area. North Saanich is entirely outside the urban containment policy area. Instead, North Saanich is within the rural/rural residential policy area.

To protect the integrity of rural communities the policy states: “Keeping urban settlement compact will help protect the character and quality of rural communities, ensure that they remain strongly rooted in the agricultural and resource land base, and allow the rural countryside and natural landscape to remain a durable fact of life in the Capital Region.”

The policy goes on to state: “to support quality of life and community character in rural areas, urban containment directs growth into complete communities in order to reduce development pressures in the Saanich Peninsula, rural West Shore, Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.”

It couldn’t be more clear. The idea of creating a complete community in North Saanich is dead wrong and if wiser heads prevail, North Saanich shall remain a rural countryside for generations to come.

Cheryl Rowley

North Saanich