Affordable housing outreach in Central Saanich too narrow in scope, says councillor

  • Sep. 16, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Hugo Wong/News staff

Central Saanich is growing, and the District may start holding town halls on how that will affect residents, but one councillor believes the plan does not address bigger questions about the best way to grow the area.

Brentwood and Saanichton will grow through two processes: infill and densification, as detailed in a 2015 consultant’s report to council.

According to the report, an example of infill would be subdividing an existing single-family residential lots so several single-family homes can be built while maintaining existing neighbourhood characteristics.

Densification is a more significant change, where a single family-home could be replaced with apartments, mixed-use developments or condos that sit atop ground-level retail space. This larger scale change would require upgrades to roads, sidewalks, cycling lanes and transit.

Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said infill and densification creates more affordable housing, which helps diversify a community in age, gender and ethnicity.

“Younger families just starting out tend to need to have something that’s a little bit more within their price range, that they can afford a mortgage on, as well as single individuals who are younger and just starting out as professionals might build themselves a life of some sort out here as well.”

The council is voting on the details of a consultation plan, but Councillor Alicia Holman said that the $30,000 plan is too narrow in scope.

Holman wants to ask residents how and where the region should grow, rather than just explain the effect of infill and densification.

The process is also a chance for the District to determine if related bylaws need tweaking.

As an example of a broader question, council is looking to further develop the Keating district in the next 25 years, which could create about 3,500 jobs on the Peninsula.

According to Holman, the plan that council has furthered would only see five per cent of those jobs going to people living in Central Saanich.

Holman said that puts a strain on already unaffordable housing, so she would like to use this consultation to see if people would support residential units in the Keating area, when the plan is focused on Saanichton and Brentwood Bay. The existing consultation plan would not address this broader question.

“Less than 15 per cent of all of the housing that has been built on the Peninsula is affordable for our low-to-moderate income [residents]…That’s what puts people on the verge of living one paycheque away from being on the streets.”

Council will vote soon on whether to solicit bidders for a public consultation.

Just Posted

Victoria council narrowly approves transitional housing for former Tally Ho

Neighbours angry about decision to allow temporary three-year permit

Inner Harbour pathway in need of repairs: Harbour Authority

Victoria council approves initial design plans for walkway changes

RCMP open investigation to find missing Sooke macaw

$5,000 reward still being offered for safe return of Rufus

Check out what’s happening in Greater Victoria this weekend

From swimming championships to Oak Bay Light Up, there’s plenty to keep you busy this weekend

VicPD chief rescues lost $10 bill in downtown Victoria

The note was promptly returned to its owner unharmed

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

Esquimalt mayor frustrated at latest E&N railbed development

Barb Desjardins says it makes no sense to start over looking at commuter options for corridor

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Most Read