The lengthy piece in the July 8 edition of the PNR concerning the efforts of the “Save Our North Saanich” organization merits some serious consideration by residents as well as North Saanich council.
Under the current council, the district has undertaken a lengthy and costly review of its Official Community Plan. I suspect that if the members of council were to ask residents about their views, they would be told by a very large plurality that they are quite satisfied with the current density, land use and overall ambience of the municipality. Most residents have chosen to live here for what it is, not what it should become in the eyes of social engineers and planners.
If one reflects back to the middle of the last decade, the council was dominated by so-called “Team North Saanich” which had a very strong development and densification bias, bent on changing the character of the district. While they had some success while in control, they went down to a very ignominious defeat at the next election. The current council, some of whom seem to be of a similar mind regarding development, might take note.
There seems to be a pervasive notion that it is the duty of any municipality to accommodate all who might wish to live there. Resources, particularly land, are finite and while the Saanich Peninsula is a lovely locale to live in, the real question is what is the level of population that can be sustained without ruining the quality of life for everyone there. If you don’t believe that can’t happen, one only need look at what happened following the Second World War when millions “discovered” Southern California and ruined an area not dissimilar in many ways from the semi-rural setting we currently enjoy on the Saanich Peninsula.
The old adage is: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and personally I don’t think North Saanich needs fixing at this time to accommodate unlimited and unsustainable growth.
James P. Crowley