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Letter to the Environmental Development Committee of District of Saanich

August 2015. Regarding ESAs or Environmentally Significant Areas

With a broad sweep of the brush, Saanich council appears to be in favour of allowing a self-interested group of environmentalists to whitewash a policy that is essentially a ‘land grab’ of private property within a 15 meter zone of the waterfront in what is being called ESAs, all in the name of protecting the flora and fauna of Saanich. Council was elected to protect the property and rights of the electorate, the legal owners, not to confiscate them. Oh yes,  we all love parks, trails and natural areas of native plants but not by taking away the rights of the very people council is supposed to represent by  drastically devaluing their property and ability to sell at true value and yet, not offering any compensation.

My husband and I have been, planting native species, encouraging birds and butterflies, discouraging the tangle of invasive foreign plants (gorse, Scottish broom, Himalayan blackberry and English ivy in accordance with the Invasive Species Council of B.C., since 1972 and without any help from Saanich.    And now after 43 years, it appears that the Saanich EDPA wish to control of a 15 meter parcel of along the shore, thereby destroying our property’s value and leaving us as mere tenants on our own land without a whisper of financial compensation or tax relief.

This act, if not illegal is immoral, punitive and a devious form of bullying.  Where will it end?  Is this the tip of the iceberg?   Saanich has written that staff are… ”proposing amendments… to the areas….that are not 100% accurate” and does not plan “on checking every boundary before including them.” What kind of rubbish is this and how is this supposed to promote the botanical environment.   Perhaps the committee should be encouraged to do more research and check on possible legal implications before they try to bulldoze this through without a proper vote by those affected, the LEGAL owners of properties taxed to the HIGH TIDE LINE.

Was the EDPA policy supposed to slip by unnoticed until too late for property owners to object?  Their website states that council passed a motion in March 2012 and sent letters of explanation to the homeowners affected.  No letters of intent were received at least by taxpayers of 10 Mile Point from 2012 to the present, in fact, most people I have contacted HAVE NEVER HEARD OF EDPA even though it drastically affects the value of their property. Three years of silence does damage the credibility and integrity of council.   Furthermore, the so called “EDPA meeting was a shambles and most residents and tax payers left in disgust.   If Saanich is seriously seeking guidance I suggest that council openly and honestly discusses the devaluation of property this policy will bring about and decides what form of compensation it is considering to homeowners, takes a VOTE of those affected and implements a no-charge disposal programme to pick up invasive plants that, according to the Invasive Species Council of B.C.  ”could cause the extinction of native species if left unchecked.”

Respectfully yours,

Mary Ross

Ten Mile Point

cc. Michael O’Connor, barrister and solicitor, neighbours on 10 Mile Point, media

Dear Friends and Neighbours on 10 Mile Point:

Are you aware that Saanich is about to drastically devalue your waterfront property without compensation and destroy your ability to sell your property at a fair price in the future?

I am just one voice, one senior little lady and can’t fight Saanich council ALONE.  Will you stand with me and object to  the bullying tactics of the (EDPA) or Environmental Development Permit Area to take over control of 15 meters of all private waterfront property including your waterfront on 10 Mile Point.

Carefully read about the restrictions they are putting in place that seriously affect us all and without plans for any VOTE, nor OPEN, HONEST DISCUSSION. Online please print out the Saanich EDPA Feedback Form www.saanich.ca/edpa voice your concern before it is too late. Please write to your Mayor Richard Atwell and council at 770 Vernon Ave. V8X 2W7

Saanich Council was elected to protect the property and rights of the electorate, not to confiscate the rights and expropriate property from legal owners.

Respectfully,

Your neighbour on 10 Mile Point

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