Following the 5-4 decision by Council at the March 16th meeting of Mayor & Council, Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA are more committed than ever to overturning the EDPA Bylaw. While many may have seen this as a defeat, in reality the vote was much closer than you would think.
While 5 Councillors voted to keep the EDPA until such time that a comprehensive review has been completed, 4 Councillors did not agree and neither does SCRES. The deciding vote, cast by Councillor Colin Plant was unfortunate.
We believe that with your cooperation and participation, we stand an excellent chance of persuading Councillor Plant to change his support for the EDPA Bylaw in its present form and allow private properties to be removed from the EDPA. He is a very fair minded person. He needs education to understand what is really out there on EDPA properties.
In Sept 2015 Saanich staff’s report to Council on the application for 2 elderly people requesting to have their Christmas Hill properties removed from the EDPA stated,
“Two biologists who actively consult in support of EDPA applications in Saanich have compared Provincial versus Saanich standards for Sensitive Ecosystem mapping. One biologist used data from his study of 125 Garry Oak sites to determine that, if provincial standards were used, 99.2% of the sites would not be classified as sensitive ecosystems. The second biologist has examined Provincial standards for mapping related to Saanich’ s EDPA and has concluded that solely using the Provincial SEI standards to assess EDPA sites would likely result in most of the SEI sites in Saanich being removed from the EDPA due to the presence of invasive species and fragmentation.”
In other words, less than 1 in 100 EDPA properties belong in the EDPA.
Our request is that within the next week, property owners with groomed lawns and gardens email Colin Plant, and invite him to visit your property and see for himself that your property, based on staff’s own report, should not be locked down in the EDPA. Emailing Councillor Plant photos of the EDPA portion of your property would also work.
Thank you for your support.
SAANICH CITIZENS FOR A RESPONSIBLE EDPA SOCIETY