The proposed OCP was rejected by Sooke council following developer concerns over density and what gets built. Days later, B.C. premier candidate David Ebby announces a housing strategy to increase density to address the housing crisis.
Ironically, this strategy formed many of the proposals on density found in the Sooke OCP housing strategy.
Lifestyle changes are often difficult and reluctant to embrace.
The need to address the housing issue requires lifestyle changes by all of us. More utilization of large homes, secondary suites, small homes on smaller lots are changes that we are reluctant to adopt.
The large influx of capital into our community has incentivized developers to build yet more urban sprawl, something they are very good at. Carving into the natural habitat and flattening the landscape for large homes is their business model. They are supplying what the influx of buyers and capital from around the world are prepared to buy at any price.
Unfortunately, this approach is not working for our community and our environment. Tax increases, lifestyle demands and environmental costs are all rising due to our low-density, high-cost communities.
The OCP breakdown was not a developer versus the climate issue. Both were afraid of what the proposed increased density would change.
The breakdown failed to connect the dots between a liveable future and the benefits that increased housing density will deliver. The proposed OCP did this thanks to the long hard work of dedicated people who have studied and have an understanding of this growth reality. They applied community growth strategies that have solutions. This increased density is coming, and governments have a responsibility to act.
The final hour breakdown after four years to deliver an OCP is regrettable and shows little compassion for the housing crisis and climate emergency that we are in.