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LETTER: Development skirts the rules

I read the letter in the June 23 Saanich News from Kevin Elliott, who considers anyone who opposes the mega Doral Forest Park development, and other proposed developments of being guilty of “classic NIMBYism.”

Well Mr. Elliott, I am one of the persons who you have accused of having this attitude. My wife and I’s property adjoins the proposed development and we have some very serious concerns about it. We voiced our concerns in writing to the recent public hearing and were obviously ignored by Saanich council.

We are not anti-development but just want everyone to play by the same rules. Our understanding is that the community plan for the area limits new developments to four storeys, a number that is in harmony with the existing structures. To object to a structure that is almost three times higher than the community plan is not “elitist obstructionism,” but simply an attempt to have all structures in the area exist in harmony with the surrounding area, including Beaver Lake Park. I consider Mr. Elliott’s words as being insulting. If rules can be manipulated by developers with deep pockets, why do they exist in the first place?

I lay this problem entirely at the feet of mayor and council who approved it, and one has to wonder what was their motivation for doing so, given that Saanich staff had opposed the bylaw change going forward. They will be judged at the next election.

I invite Mr. Elliott to stand on our property and look to the east. He will by staring at an 11-storey development that has destroyed everything, surrounding properties, trees, wildlife habitat, quality of life, and traffic patterns, all for profit.

Robert Russell

Saanich