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

Saanich amalgamation committee holds first meeting

Saanich councillors call for a transparent process to ensure success of study

Snow not melting fast enough for some Greater Victoria residents

Resident unhappy with lack of snow removal on Mount Doug trails

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

BC Parks accepting application student ranger hiring program for its second year

48 students will get to have a summer job in the outdoors including in Goldstream Park

Head-on collision in Saanich draws attention to rural road safety

Saanich says additional road safety measures are already planned or underway

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Vancouver Island Pride Weekend coming to Mt. Washington

VIP events will be held Feb. 28 to March 3

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

Most Read