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Apply to Serve an Advisory Committee, Board or Foundation

The District of Saanich is currently accepting applications from Saanich residents wishing to be involved in local government by sitting as a member of an Advisory Committee, Board or Foundation in 2021. Application deadline: 4:30 p.m. Friday, November 6, 2020. Openings include:

  • Various Advisory Committees (examples: Active Transportation, Arts Culture and Heritage, Environment and Natural Areas, Healthy Saanich, Board of Variance) 
  • Saanich Heritage Foundation
  • Advisory Design Panel
  • Various Boards and Commissions (examples: Greater Victoria Public Library, Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee).

Interested in serving your community? Learn more here, and check out the general notice.

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BC Election: Party leaders respond to urban mayors

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is a member of the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus that asked a number of questions to the leadership of provincial parties. Mayor Haynes hopes that this information will aid Saanich residents in being more informed as they prepare for election day on October 24, 2020.  Read their responses here:

For information on how you can vote, visit this link.

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Garden Suites Now Legal in Saanich

It is now legal to construct a garden suite with a permit in Saanich. Garden suites are detached, ground-oriented dwellings located in the rear yard of a property with a single family house as its principal use. Saanich expects this will increase the number and diversity of affordable rental housing units available in Saanich. 

A few facts to know:

  • You must apply for and be granted applicable permits in order to build and operate a garden suite.
  • Garden suites can be used for family or as rental units, but cannot be strata-titled, sold or used for short-term rentals (e.g. for an Airbnb or Bed and Breakfast).
  • An owner must live on the property with the garden suite in either the single family dwelling or the garden suite.
  • A garden suite can only contain one dwelling unit.
  • You cannot have a garden suite and a secondary suite.

To learn more, visit: https://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/community/community-planning/policy-initiatives/garden-suites.html

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Pause on Development of University Heights Shopping Centre

The following is an update from the developer, Wesbild on October 7, 2020:

“I am reaching out with some new, and disappointing news regarding the future of University Heights Shopping Centre…  Since our presentation to Council on August 24th receiving First Reading (and, thank you to those who shared input with Council leading up to this milestone), our team at Wesbild has been working hard to resolve some outstanding critical issues with our existing tenant – Home Depot.  Regrettably, Wesbild has made the decision to “pause” this $230-million renewal project due to an impasse regarding requests for expansion and other financial concessions. We certainly did not come to this decision lightly, and it was important to us that you hear the news from us, directly.

On behalf of Wesbild, I’d like to offer our sincere gratitude to each of your organizations (and to you as individuals) for all the time, effort, thoughtful commentary and support over the last three years of planning, and community engagement. Wesbild is doing all it can to address Home Depot’s requests and is hoping a final round of discussions can resolve the outstanding issues.  We will definitely keep you apprised if things shift on this front.

We do not take for granted that the people of Saanich (our neighbours, our site visitors, local housing and transportation advocates, etc.) have been generous with their time and input in helping to shape this proposal. It is our earnest hope that this significant project can ultimately continue.”

Virginia Bird
Community Relations
Wesbild 

Additional media reporting on this project at this link.

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Study of Dogs at Cadboro Bay Beach

Following six months of research and extensive public input, CBRA completed its report on dogs at Cadboro Bay Beach. The report was submitted to Saanich Council on August 31, 2020 and findings were summarized in a presentation to Mayor and Council on September 28, 2020. Watch the video of the presentation, and find the report and other content at this link: https://cadboro.ca/projects/

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Support for Dog Bylaw Review

Dear CBRA Board,

I have been reading a lot of the commentary in the media concerning the dog use of Cadboro Bay. I find a lot of the discourse to be emotional, inflammatory and distracting from the facts and the crux of the issue. Thus, I would like to provide what I feel is a balanced and objective perspective.

I will preface my comments by saying that I have no bias in favour of or against dogs and dog owners. I believe that pet owners have the right to be able to walk and enjoy certain outdoor areas of a community, within reason. However, I am reminded of the axiom “the right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” Or said another way, the right of dog owners to partake in an activity should end at the inflection point, where the positive attributes of their activity begin to be dwarfed by the negative impact on other constituents in the community.

I would like to set out a couple of key facts.

  • Key Fact #1. The unique off-leash dog bylaws on Cadboro Bay beach are anomalous as compared to other sandy beaches in Victoria area. This inevitably attracts a heightened and concentrated level of dog walking activity, particularly during the summer months, and the problems that come with this activity. I don’t doubt that dog owners are thrilled that they have a beach where they can let their dogs run untethered all year around. It is indeed a beautiful picturesque sandy beach. What is not to like about that? I am sure it brings a lot of enjoyment to dogs and dog owners. However, as with many activities, with the good, also comes the bad (e.g. dogs chasing wildlife, dogs damaging beachfront vegetation, untrained dogs barking incessantly, dogs creating conflicts with other dogs and other beachgoers, dogs trespassing on homeowner properties and dog owners not removing dog feces). And since the level of dog walking activity is high on Cadboro Bay Beach (given its unique permissibility), the negative impact and incidences are more prevalent and magnified.
  • Key Fact #2. Although I have not conducted a scientific tally, as a homeowner who has lived in a home fronting the beach for the last 5 years, and thus sees the full breadth of dog activity over the course of a day, I would estimate that 80-85% of dog owners are responsible and considerate and their use of the beach appears to have a modest impact. However, I can also attest to the fact that the negative instances of dog activity (as mentioned above) occur numerous times a day. Not once in a blue moon, as some would have you believe, but numerous times each day.

It appears that the level of unleashed dog activity on Cadboro Beach (as a result of the bylaws which are inconsistent with other neighbouring municipalities) appears to have reached beyond the inflection point where the negative impacts on other community members, wildlife and the environment (bear in mind, the latter two constituents are not able to voice an opinion on the matter) trump the rights and benefits of the dog walkers and the dogs who utilize the beach on an unleashed basis.

I will close by saying that it seems very odd that in a city the size of Victoria, that various neighbourhoods and communities would have vastly different bylaws regarding dog walking activity. And when you overlay the fact that Cadboro Bay Beach is a protected migratory bird sanctuary, and one of the few sandy beaches that is accessible for the public to enjoy, that it would also be the only beach where off-leash dog walking is permitted. Lastly, I hope that Saanich Council will give short shrift to those who argue that current bylaws should persist because they have been this way for “x” number of years. It should go without saying that laws and rules are meant to evolve in lockstep with society. The list is long of laws and rules from history that are no longer relevant or appropriate, or have produced unintended consequences that result in a net negative impact to society.

Suffice to say, it is a healthy and beneficial exercise to review certain bylaws periodically and ascertain whether they are still serving a net positive purpose for the community, or conversely, whether they need to be modified to better reflect the needs and interests of society at a given point in time. Thus, I fully support Saanich Council’s motion to review the current bylaws regarding dogs on Cadboro Bay Beach.

Sincerely,
Aaron Papps
Cadboro Bay Road

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St. George’s Church Cadboro Bay Christmas Fair, Sat. Nov 23

Our Christmas Fair will be held Sat Nov. 23, 10 am – 2 pm at St. George Church (close to intersection of Maynard St. and Cadboro Bay Rd.). We welcome our neighbours of all ages, for a day packed with community fun, food, shopping, and the scents and sounds of Christmas! 

Complimentary coffee served throughout day; come and meet your friends. Get a start to your Christmas baking with our handmade baked goods and preserves, including the famous St. George apple pies and tourtieres. A children’s holiday village lets kids choose presents for family members at a very reasonable cost ($1-2) and wrap and tag them. Very popular with the children, allowing them to participate in gift-giving and surprise on Christmas morning. The Upper Hall will have shopping for unique treasures, gently used children’s toys and Christmas decorations. We’ll also have an excellent Silent Auction with gifts generously provided by many local Cadboro Bay vendors. Cap off your visit with a scrumptious lunch and our book sale.

Check our website and Facebook (https://www.stgeorgecadborobay.ca/) for the latest. 

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St. George’s Spring Fair, Saturday May 25

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Peter Rowand of St. George’s Anglican Church writes: 

Join us on Saturday May 25 (10:00 – 2:00) for some family fun and building community. 

  • We’ll have lots of games, a bouncy castle for the little ones, plus activities and crafts.
  • Bring your pup to show off its tricks in the Dog Show, and compete for a scrumptious treat in the Cupcake Walk.  
  • For the adults, we’ll have a huge Plant Sale with lots of veggie starts and perennials. 
  • There will be a Book Sale in the Lower Hall, and of course, 
  • the ever-favoured table of Home Baking and Preserves. 

No need to bring a picnic as we’ve got you covered: 

  • We’ll have the BBQ going full throttle for those of you who want an ol’fashioned hot dog or smokie with a can of pop and 
  • the Ismaili Community will be here serving up freshly made samosas with chutney and dahl soup.
  • Want something sweet? The coffee and tea tent will have doughnuts.

Bring your family, friends, and neighbours for a relaxed afternoon spent under the big maple tree playing games and making new friends. 

Free admission! Rain or shine!

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Call for performers for St. George’s Xmas Cinderella panto

From St. George’s Anglican Church: 

The St George’s Community Theatre is excited to announce the production of a classic pantomime: Cinderella will be performed in the nave of St. George’s Cadboro Bay on the first weekend of December 2019. This will be a fun production that aims to bridge newcomers to the stage, with seasoned professionals.

Interested performers (experienced and newbies, adults and minors) are being sought.

Why are we auditioning in May for a show in December?

We are doing this to have a cast ready – and committed – to begin rehearsals as soon as school is back in session in September, with as little fuss as possible for everyone. Also, some of the performers with more lines to learn will have scripts over the summer months. The show director, when performing, has a heck of a time lodging lines into his noggin’. For some people it is a snap. Everyone’s different. So why not provide the opportunity for people to have their script longer?

Our next audition date is Saturday, May 18th. If you are considering auditioning, please read through the following carefully. We are looking for community-minded people to not only enjoy putting on the performances, but to enjoy the journey together to get there.

For more information (including Audition forms, contact information, etc.), visit https://www.stgeorgecadborobay.ca/ministries/theatre

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New Shop in the Village

Madison & Muse, a new shop in the Village, writes: 

Our new home decor store has opened up in Cadboro Bay Village, offering a lovely range of European table and bed linens, scented soap and candles, items for the gourmet kitchen, and home decor.   We live and work in this community and are hoping to help reinvigorate the village.  A portion of sales is donated to Frank Hobbs Elementary School. 

www.madisonandmuse.ca