I am a 31-year Cadboro Bay resident. I attended the Saanich planning department’s Cadboro Bay Local Area Plan (LAP) workshop at Goward House. Attendants were presented with four visions of the future of the village, all four providing for building four to eight storeys in a much-expanded area, far beyond the village core.
Attendants were divided into 10 round-table groups and asked to “workshop” the four visions and offer comments. At no time was the existing draft LAP, completed last October following extensive consultation, offered as an option.
My impressions coming out of the workshop are these.
Saanich Planning has chosen to completely ignore the wishes of the folks who actually live here. Those wishes were expressed in the October 2021 draft LAP. Residents were clear in the October 2021 draft LAP that densification must be gentle and low-rise, focusing on garden suites and in-house suites. Saanich is willing to try to ram this new, radical and ill-thought-out plan down our throats.
Saanich Planning is kowtowing to developers who will leap at the chance to build four, five, six-storey structures to be sold to those well-do-do folks coming here from other parts of Canada. None of the resulting living units will be low-cost.
If Saanich council decides to move forward with any version of the four choices presented to us, it will face a firestorm of opposition.
The cynic in me urges me to believe that this entire exercise is the present council’s effort to be able to say steps have been taken to address the present (and in my opinion temporary) housing crisis, prior to the election this fall.
Cadboro Bay is just the first neighbourhood on the list. I urge all Saanich residents to realize that this sort of radical planning is coming soon to your neighbourhood. Press the planning department and council for answers. And remember all of this when you vote this fall.