Here we are three months out from the civic elections and some issues are emerging. One issue is how well do we want our elected officials to support the Regional Growth Strategy, (RGS)? That goes for the Official Community Plans as well. Just paper or real planning?
Some people in the real estate and construction industry want people to think the RGS is bad. For them, it interferes with buying raw land cheap and turning a profit by building and selling to the next tier of land owners. (The next tier turns out to be ordinary people who want good roads, reliable water supplies and services, all for minimal taxes. Like the rest of us.) The RGS represents a joint decision that we need to protect our agricultural land and keep some raw land as habitat and for resource use.
Since the RGS was adopted in 2003, a majority of people understand the economics of natural green space much better. It isn’t just pretty. It serves a vital purpose in providing clean air and water for our communities with only the cost of leaving it in its natural state. The RGS aims to protect agricultural land, resource land and green space as it directs growth to already developed areas.
A developer apparently offered to bring 10,000 people to Jordan River. Thanks but no thanks. That offer could only be made in ignorance of the Regional Growth Strategy or by ignoring the vision of the whole community in favour of the vision of a few. New housing, more people and infrastructure will provide jobs in Sooke, Langford, Colwood and the core municipalities. The jobs are there without people trying for easy pickings.
Heather Phillips Otter Point