Letter submitted by Cadboro Bay Resident to Saanich Council:
To Saanich Planning Department and city council members.
I support adding more affordable rental housing in Cadboro bay. But as we learned at Saanich’s Zoom meeting last night, the cost of land here plus developer profit will lead mainly to luxury condos. Purpose-built rental here isn’t attractive to developers.
So why ruin the village with 4-6 storey buildings when it won’t address the housing crisis? This isn’t NIMBY, it’s common sense.
Why not instead consult with institutional landholders on opportunities for affordable rental and seniors’ housing? Possibilities include the United church property and along the edge of the Queen Alexandria grounds at Arbutus road. Green space and waterfront could remain protected. These sites are near bus stops to the village and the UVic interchange. I’m sure there are federal and provincial funds to subsidize such builds.
Why not revise the Local Area Plan to expand these future institutional land possibilities while keeping the rest of the November 2021 draft mainly unchanged? Not everyone is a fan of the November draft, myself included, but at least it was produced by a legitimate process of inclusive consultation.
The four scenarios recently proposed by Saanich were strongly opposed by yesterday’s attendees because they don’t make sense. They wouldn’t even achieve Saanich’s own affordability, environmental, and transit corridor objectives.
I hope that Planning’s hard-working staff got the message and that their political masters, who ordered these sudden changes, will also listen.