In response to Mr. Greave’s letter of June 29, I agree that some increase in housing density in Cadboro Bay may be needed to improve the diversity of housing options, however, I strongly disagree with his characterization of Saanich Planning’s recently proposed options to expand the village core as “moderate.”
Several of the options propose a change in permissible zoning of entire neighbourhoods from single-family housing to four- to six-storey apartments. This is a radical change that would ruin the fabric of these neighbourhoods. Cadboro Bay residents should stand united and send council a strong message that for a host of economic, esthetic and environmental reasons, multi-storey, high-density apartments are not acceptable in neighbourhoods in or around Cadboro Bay.
The community has worked with Saanich Planning for more than two years to develop a draft Local Area Plan that gained 73 per cent support for its overall direction. In this plan, increased density was provided through garden suites, patio homes, duplexes, etc. In March, council directed staff to assess an expanded/more intense village centre to expand and diversify rental housing and housing opportunities. The subsequent options developed by Planning have taken many in the Cadboro Bay community by surprise.
At present, there is no structure higher than three storeys in residential areas of Cadboro Bay. One of the key principles in the Local Area Plan is that development should be in keeping with the character of neighbourhoods. None of the high-density options could be considered to follow this principle. All residents of Cadboro Bay who oppose multi-storey apartments should unite in our disapproval of all options. Let us not be divided and forced to choose one option over another. With current economic uncertainty, unknown environmental impacts and influences, and serious social implications, we should proceed cautiously before undertaking radical changes in zoning. I hope all Cadboro Bay residents will join me in sending this message to council.