Think of environment with proposed King’s Pond development

Environmental study needs to be done ahead of development project

The District of Saanich is poised to make the same costly and embarrassing environmental blunder that it made 10 years ago.

A five-home strata subdivision is slated for approval on a lot that contains the sensitive wetland area of King’s Pond. Ten years ago the District dredged up this portion of the wetland area of King’s Pond, tearing up the natural plants and trees along the way and a sizable migratory and songbird bird habitat. At the time the District was required to restore the wetland. It was an embarrassing incident in the press.

After the fact they also commissioned an environmental assessment called the Harder Report.

The time to do an “Environmental and Social Review” is not after the damage has been done, but before.

We need an environmental study before the subdivision is approved, not after a serious environmental accident. All the community is asking is that the District follow its own environmental guidelines and have a full ESR before any development.

Ten years ago the residents of this area officially expressed their concern, in the Harder Report, for King’s Pond, the wetland, Cedar Hill Park and the neighbourhoods that support the pond and park. The concerns expressed then are the exact concerns the community has now.

Some in the District seem to be ignoring the documented environmental concerns in their own report. This is not just a bunch of residents complaining about a new subdivision but a very long standing documented environmental issue.

King’s Pond is a natural treasure. Not only is it a wildlife sanctuary, a park and the only remaining natural pond in Cedar Hill, it is an area visited and enjoyed by thousands from Saanich and all over Greater Victoria. It is part of a park that rivals Beacon Hill in Victoria. Let’s treat it as such.

Express your views to Saanich council and let them know the time to do an ESR is before an environmental accident happens, not after, as they did in 2003. We cannot afford to repeat this same mistake and lose this natural gem that is enjoyed by so many.

Andy Ruszel

Saanich