In his letter to the Sooke News Mirror on Oct. 19, 2011 Wayne Fritz bemoans the make up of the Otter Point OCP review committee. In fact there were 11 positions to be filled and only 12 applications were received. The JDFEA director essentially appointed everyone who applied. This included two executive members of Wayne’s organization OPSRRA, one of whom served as chair. Advisory Planning Commission (APC) members like Wayne were automatically included if they chose to be, and he chose not to participate.
The $100,000 of funding was not given to the committee but rather allocated to the Juan De Fuca planning department through an innovative use of the Gas Tax by director Hicks, resulting in no additional planning costs to the JDF.
He says the committees’ recommendations focus exclusively encouraging more and smaller lots. In fact there was no increase in density (more lots), but rather more flexibility. For example, the settlement areas will have the same density as before, one hectare (2 1/2 acres) and a minimum lot size of one acre, achieved through lot averaging and parks amenity. This was passed unanimously by the committee.
He implies that the “self-employed businessmen” drove density when in fact it was Sid Jorna, OPSRRA executive member (and campaign advisor to OPSRRA founder Alanda Carver), who promoted the 500 plus acre Canadian Horizons development proposal that would have permitted up to 200 lots north of the fire hall. Indeed, the Canadian Horizons subdivision, referred to as the “elephant in the room,” was the biggest challenge to fully modernizing the OCP.
This proposal was defeated by the landowners on the committee who opposed a massive Sunriver-style subdivision in the heart of Otter Point. Allowing the smaller rural property owners to be the ones to achieve the prescribed Regional Growth Strategy density over the next several decades was seen as a better route to preserving the rural nature of Otter Point. And fairer.
Fritz fails to mention that the draft OCP will first go to the locally elected Otter Point APC so his suggestion that the CRD Board “create other appointed advisory mechanisms” is puzzling unless that means upgrading OPSRRA from de facto to official status as the government of Otter Point.