To Saanich Planning Department and city council members.
I am a resident of Cadboro Bay who attended the Revised Cadboro Bay Local Plan update so called workshop at the Goward house on June 11, 2022.
I was a disturbing experience, in how your department appeared to manipulate the whole operation. This meeting was not professional, and it felt coerced and misleading. We were told the purpose of the workshop was to pick an option (out of 4 pre-decided maps) in Cadboro Bay to accommodate non-market (affordable housing). I found this insulting considering I had been in no way involved or considered in these options to even be able to make such a decision.
Before we were told to break into table groups the presenters provided a rough background. There were too many points in their presentation statements that were contradictory to mention but here are a few:
First falsehood: More building reduces cost of housing whether it is rent or ownership.
To arrive at that conclusion, look at high density habitations throughout the world – Manhattan as an example. One of the most expensive places to live.
Second falsehood: There cannot be affordable housing based on the high cost of the land in Cadboro bay unless it is payed by taxpayers through government.
Third falsehood: the whole process does not care about people needing housing, it feels like it is a political score board for votes. The government should be very careful when getting involved with the private sector. Here we are being told that there is no money in it for the developers to build anything less than 4 stories. Who is financially benefiting in this situation?
Fourth falsehood: the planning committee claims this is a democratic process that occurs nowhere else. Nothing is farther from the truth; the survey is open to people living outside Cadboro Bay who depending on their agenda can determine what happens to the area regardless of the voice of the actual residents. Based on the June 11 workshop it feels like Saanich has already decided in a dictatorial fashion what will shape Cadboro Bay’s future landscape.
Fifth falsehood: Saanich claims to protect sites , trees and heritage. One only has to look at the nearly completed Attenuation Tank on Arbutus Road along with the proposed building heights 4-10 stories proposed in the village core and continuing to the residential neighborhoods. Again, another hypocritical statement, the truth is the Cadboro Bay is an historical site, occupied by first nations, with a considerable amount of nature still surrounding the area.
Final consideration: the only reason so many people who can’t afford to live in Cadboro Bay want to live here is because of the low density and unique rural feel of the area – let’s destroy that too!.
This is a question for the Saanich architects. How does this plan fit seamlessly in the existing community? What value is this going to add to Cadboro Bay.