In explaining his rationale for approving a controversial rezoning application for a property in North Saanich last Monday night during a council meeting, Councillor Dunstan Browne cited “common sense” as his guide.
District staff had recommended against the rezoning, which contravened the city’s own strategic plan. Nor would the newly created lot meet minimum size requirements for a second single family home.
However, the rezoning was approved, allowing owners to split the lot in two, with the second piece to be sold or used for a second house.
The property in question was rundown and looked, to Browne, like an abandoned piece of property.
“If you just get a good house on there it would complement the neighbourhood. In all my time on council, I’ve never seen a better example of where common sense should prevail,” he said, as quoted by the Peninsula News Review.
His sidekicks on council, Councillors Ted Daly, Craig Mearns and Conny McBride, who voted along with Browne in approving the application, apparently shared his “common sense” point of view.
But was this really “common sense?” Or was it some weird, mutant variant of it?
Should we actually reward people who own properties that have been allowed to deteriorate into eyesores by letting them rezone and subdivide?
This latest decision is great news for all those seeking to make a quick buck on the property market by circumventing all the local plans and bylaws and relying on the arbitrary “common sense” of Councillor Browne and his cronies.
It’s not so good for the people living next to some other “eyesore” or even those who simply prefer some predictability when it comes to decisions about land use in North Saanich.
Good thing there’s a civic election this November, just in case Councillor Browne’s mutant variant of “common sense” goes viral and needs an electoral remedy to stamp it out!