Letter sent to Saanich Mayor & Council:
I attended the Revised Saanich Cadboro Bay Local Area Plan workshop on June 11. I was notified of this meeting by another local area resident. I did not receive notification in the mail or email regarding this meeting and I am sure many other local area residents were unaware of this meeting.
Having attended previous open houses and completed several surveys over the past few years on the previous Cadboro Bay Area Plan I now feel like I was tricked and very misled by the District of Saanich.
The June 11 meeting felt like a complete ambush. Having only digested the 4 new proposed area plans 2 days before I was still in shock. These new proposed plans resemble nothing like the proposals I had participated in before. There are numerous increases in building heights sprinkled throughout the plans. We seemed to have gone from 4 story heights in the village core to 4-10 stories spread out from the village core to the residential neighborhoods. Not to mention gone from Townhouses/Duplex designs to very tall box condo’s.
You can imagine my surprise in seeing that a 4-6 Story building is being proposed right beside my house. I have lived next to the Broad Street Church since 1980. A four story building is as tall as a telephone pole. Let’s add another 2 stories and that gives you an idea of the monstrosity that will be the new skyline for Arbutus Road. The sun will be completely blocked with this tower. Right in the midst of a very residential area? I am so sad at the thought. I had thought townhouses, duplexes would be a fit. Please tell me how these proposes heights offer anything positive back to Cadboro Bay? How is this in anyway a good thing for such a special heritage area? Cadboro Bay is already overburdened. Let’s not forget we support the entire student population of UVIC. It is UVIC students and faculty that use our local resources. That is more than any other area in Saanich is being asked to do yet Cadboro Bay is being asked to add yet more density and give up even more of our small space.
Did you know that the Proposed Area Plan use of 4-6 Story buildings are targeted for Non-Market Housing? I had to look that up to see what it meant. “Non-market housing is for low and moderate income singles and families, often subsidized through a variety of ways, including senior government support”. The June 11th facilitator stated that many people have expressed they would like to live in Cadboro Bay but can’t afford to. Seriously, is this really going to solve the housing issue? This is about the cost of the land for proposed affordable housing. It makes sense to find the cheapest land for those proposals. Cadboro Bay land is too expensive at taxpayers cost to be handed over for experimental projects where the government has been proven to have failed in the past.
The Saanich facilitator tell us that there is no money in it for the developers to build anything less that 4 stories! Are we really more concerned with developers making money? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about how to keep our stunning, unique Cadboro Bay out of the hands of over development to be enjoyed for future generations. We are about to sacrifice what’s left of a very special corner of Saanich for what??
The Shelbourne/McKenzie corridor is already adding extensive volumes of mixed housing that easily will contribute to the housing density and affordability issue. Not to mention the Shelbourne/McKenzie corridor is on an excellent bus route, has 3 grocery stores and lots of amenities. Cadboro Bay has limited amenities to offer which are already pushed to the limit.
Why are we dismissing the plan that residents of Cadboro Bay participated in prior? I support that plan. I do not support the new revised plans at all for Cadboro Bay.