Citizens group calls for incentives on EDPA

Saanich is holding an EDPA town hall on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Garth Homer Centre

Anita Bull stands along an overgrown path along Saanich property near the base of Christmas Hill. Bull says Saanich needs a complete plan to deal with invasive species on its own properties – such as the English ivy strangling a tree and Himalyan blackberries in the backround – before it can hold residents accountable to do the same on private property.

A group of concerned citizens have drafted a report more than 20 pages long with suggestions they believe Saanich staff can use to “fix” the controversial Environmental Development Permit Area bylaw.

The report comes from the Citizens for a Responsible EDPA, led by Ted Lea and Anita Bull, who plan to deliver the report prior to Saanich’s call for public feedback on the EDPA, which ends Nov. 27.

The group believes their report covers the shortfall of incentives and compensation for EDPA-affected landowners while pointing out other issues in need of attention with the bylaw.

“If Saanich expects to be taken seriously about the EDPA and desires to effectively protect and restore private areas of environmentally sensitive areas, it needs to be seen as a leader in restoration of its public lands,” says the Citizens for a Responsible EDPA report.

“This will provide encouragement for the public to do the same with private lands.”

Saanich council adopted the EDPA bylaw in 2012 following public consultation. It’s designed to protect biodiversity, mitigate development impacts and restore degraded ecosystems. However, as of 2015 it has been met with backlash as property owners believe the mandated covenants often protect areas that are no longer sensitive, and that Saanich hasn’t done enough to initiate or encourage active protection of sensitive areas (suggesting Saanich is not acting on invasive species  currently wreaking havoc on sensitive ecosystems).

In a series of extreme cases homeowners are claiming a devaluing of their property, including Larry Trupp, who says his family took a hit of more than $200,000 on a recent sale of property.

By assuming some of the report’s suggestions Saanich could share the burden “among all landowners.”

The report also suggests incentives, such as a 65 per cent property tax exemption to landowners who agree to a permanent (EDPA) conservation covenant, which is in line with B.C.’s Islands Trust act.

Saanich is holding an EDPA town hall on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Garth Homer Centre.

Saanich’s ongoing EDPA virtual open house is at saanich.ca/edpa.

 

All feedback must be submitted by Nov. 27 to be included in the EDPA review process.

 

 

Just Posted

Sailors set to deck the hulls for annual Sea of Lights

Lighted sail past set for Dec. 1 with community events at vantage points Willows Beach and Gyro Park

Report finds Saanich public buildings in need of replacement

Of three facilities in need of attention, the Park and Public Works Yard is the highest priority

Saanich business plays Secret Santa to local seniors

Be a Santa to Senior program now underway in six locations across the Greater Victoria area.

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

VIDEO: Uptown Noodlebox restaurant catches fire

Daycare evacuated while crews fight kitchen fire

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Hillside kicks off holiday shopping with “The Night Before”

Nov. 19 charity event marks beginning of holiday shopping season

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Grade 12 student already has 1,500 towards carpentry apprenticeship

B.C. program launches trade careers from high school

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Interpretive sign captures history of Gorge Bridge

Seven bridges have crossed the Gorge at the site, with the first constructed in 1848

Most Read