Letters: Otter Point OCP passes hurdle

Positive solutions for community in Otter Point Official Community Plan

The draft Otter Point Official Community Plan (OCP) has passed an important hurdle. On Feb. 27 the proposed settlement area and density recommendations passed the Capital Regional District Planning and Transportation  Committee unanimously as consistent with the Regional Growth Strategy.

For a number of years our association has defended rural land owners against repeated attempts to “down-zone” their properties. The restoration of  “building strata” (commonly referred to as “4 on 10“) and “subdivision for a family member (946)”  development options were achieved ultimately through litigation.

The new settlement area and density recommendations (which sets a 1ha. density for all properties under 25 ha.)   remove the remaining form of down-zoning, contained in the 2007 OCP, which is:

“4.2.1.2  Settlement Area Policies

c. Residential development outside the settlement containment areas should consist of parcels greater than 2 ha. (5 acres).”

This was a serious mismatch between policy and existing zoning. Properties outside the settlement containment area would be limited to a two-hectare density when in fact the density of Rural A zoned property, which comprises the majority of such lands, is one-hectare. This created a situation where fee simple subdivision, arguably the most desirable form, was effectively eliminated and the the only alternative was through  strata development, either “building” or “bare-land.” The committee report referenced elements of the 2007 OCP such as the foregoing clause as ones that “did not resonate well with the community.” That’s putting it mildly.

The new Otter Point OCP reconciles the inequities that the settlement area policies in the old OCP imposed on owners of Rural A zoned land, and does so with progressive options: it restores fee simple, and retains strata and 946 subdivision options. And it does so with no overall increase in density, and so maintains RGS consistency.

Most importantly it is the reflection of a consensus in the community to put forth positive solutions, not take away or trade off options, and of a commitment by Juan de Fuca Director Mike Hicks, who was  twice elected on a “no down-zoning” platform, to fulfill that promise.

The community has moved to repair and progress.

Zachary Doeding

Association of B.C. Landowners

Just Posted

Sooke cannabis report does little to answer production questions

Council is trying to get ahead of the issue

Saanich woman runs marathons to make dreams come true

Hempler gutted her way through 122 kms with minimal breaks, to support Help Fill a Dream Foundation

Tsartlip canoe team pulls for international glory in Australia

Geronimo Canoe Club paddles to Victoria to kick-start fundraising

Average housing prices would have to drop by $413,000 for Victoria to become affordable

Alternatively, salaries need to increase to $134,000 per year, more than double current levels

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read