LETTER: North Saanich has seen increase in housing

North Saanich residents who are concerned about the process, and impartiality, of the official community plan (OCP) review have been labelled a populist NIMBY element and more recently a mob. However, here are a few facts:

North Saanich has four apartment buildings, one designated for seniors. There are over 40 units of subsidized senior houses, a large senior townhouse development, a smaller family-type housing development, as well as 15 townhouses that are subsidized family accommodations. These are on a public transportation route. In the past few years, about 140 homes have been built, all of which were to be considered workforce housing. Recently a resale of one of these houses was listed at over $1 million. The municipality has no control over personal housing sales, nor should it.

As for lack of housing for young families living in North Saanich, the two elementary schools seem to have a consistent capacity, in fact, School District 63 saw an unexpected increase of 100 students this fall.

The present council, with co-operation from the developer and consistent with the present OCP, has seen the addition of several family condominiums built by Habitat for Humanity. These homes do have a stipulated resale value and are constructed with some ownership labour equity.

As for other areas of diversity, North Saanich would compare to most other municipalities in Greater Victoria.

North Saanich has one of the lowest tax rates in the area. Remember, increased population equals increased services which equates to higher tax rates. Statistics show that about 38 per cent of people moving to this area are from out of province. Again, no municipal control.

This brief summary reflects a diverse, caring community. Those who think otherwise, need to take a good look around. We are doing quite well for a small rural residential community.

Lorrene Soellner

North Saanich