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LETTER: Development putting a strain on infrastructure

Don Enright raises some excellent points in his letter in the June 3 Peninsula News Review regarding the hard-line push to drive development in Deep Cove.

I have lived in Deep Cove for over 30 years, our community was discovered when Team North Saanich was opening the flood gates to development and some of the then-councilors were quoted as not caring what residents had to say. Now we have a council that has turned over their elected responsibility to staff, the Urban Development Institute and a company from Vancouver to propose what is needed in our community.

As Mr. Enright points out, the stakeholders have always played a part in a community OCP. They are engaged stakeholders with limited ability to address our growing challenges brought on by development, namely climate change. Our next critical precious resource is water, and there is a push to build upwards, side-by-side, to squeeze in the maximum number of residences in an area already on water restrictions. Our area of mixed land use finds these stakeholders targeting underused ALR lands or applying their science to pave it all over with houses, so they can move to stage two of more service industries.

When is council and staff going to be forthright about completing the unfinished business of sewers for existing homes with aging septic fields or is this being ignored to build the triplexes and high-rises in Deep Cove and McTavish? All the concrete paving is going to lead to storm systems which council ignored when two phases of city sewer were installed.

So while developers, industries and our council call for more and more housing, more and more service industries and more roadways to ease movement of higher density, are these same bodies costing out or investigating building a new hospital, more schools, adding more services for fire, policing, transit, etc. How many people had a say when Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich all built brand-new multi-million-dollar fire halls, even though many in the public were calling for the amalgamation of this service to serve the Peninsula?

I echo Mr. Enright, to show up like we did in 2007 and 2016 to be heard at the ballot box.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

North Saanich