Consultant hired to review controversial Saanich bylaw

Diamond Head Consulting will review Enviornmental Development Permit Area bylaw

  • Dec. 13, 2016 5:00 p.m.

The District of Saanich has hired Diamond Head Consulting to review the controversial Environmental Development Permit Area bylaw.

The contract was handed out eight months after Saanich council initially voted to have the bylaw reviewed.

Several residents came forward with complaints in 2014 regarding the bylaw, which prompted a public check-in process from June 2015 to February 2016. Following that, Saanich held a pair of highly attended special sessions.

The last was in March, when an estimated 250 people were in attendance for a special session at the George Pearkes Community Centre field house. At the time, council voted unanimously to uphold the bylaw for now, but also to hire a third-party consultant or team to review the bylaw in depth.

That was chosen over repealing the bylaw or maintaining it as is.

“Improving the bylaw aligns with Saanich’s ongoing commitment to the protection and restoration of rare ecosystems and vital habitats, while mitigating financial impacts on property owners,” said chief administrative officer Paul Thorkelsson. “We look forward to working with Diamond Head Consulting on this important work.”

In the meantime, Saanich worked to define the review, which will compare Saanich’s EDPA bylaw to other municipalities. In its final report, Diamond Head is expected to outline potential recommendations and potential solutions for council’s review.

The EDPA bylaw was introduced in 2012 after public consultation. It was designed to protect threatened and endangered species, as Saanich is home to many, including the top three most endangered habitats in Canada, the Garry oak ecosystems.

Five per cent of private properties in Saanich are within, or partially within, the EDPA, while 52 per cent of the EDPA in Saanich is located on public land (mostly parks).

 

Just Posted

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

5-a-side soccer field, mascot reveal, jersey pick up in Bastion Square and waterfront lot Saturday

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Colwood wins award for Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan

Plan wins Award of Excellence in Government Finance

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read