Case Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), questions Saanich’s commitment towards affordable housing, while warning of a changing climate in the construction industry. (Black Press File).

Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

VRBA director Casey Edge also questions Saanich’s commitment towards housing affordability

The head of the association representing Greater Victoria builders wonders whether Saanich is serious about creating more affordable housing.

“Saanich’s claims of support for housing affordability require more credibility than have been apparent so far,” said Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA).

RELATED: Head of Greater Victoria builders critical of stricter climate policy

He offered this assessment against the backdrop of several policy initiatives working their way through municipal channels.

He sounds especially concerned about plans by Coun. Nathalie Chambers, who has proposed several interim measures to protect trees in Saanich that might otherwise be vulnerable without an environmental development bylaw in place.

On Monday, Saanich council will consider a report and suggestion from Chambers to have staff look at an “immediate implementation of a conservation strategy that would protect the same ecosystem assets as the environmental development permit area bylaw.”

Edge questions this idea. Saanich already has tree protection bylaw, he said, noting Chambers’ strategy would duplicate what he calls the “costly and poorly conceived [Environmental Development Permit Area] bylaw.”

Saanich council rescinded the EDPA in late 2017, only five years after its creation. (Its formal rescinding took place in April 2018).

Chambers for her part said she is not trying to replace the EDPA bylaw, but is instead looking for a series of interim measures.

RELATED: Saanich hears mixed reviews about new voluntary building code

Edge also reiterated his group’s opposition to Saanich’s pending introduction of the Step Code, a new voluntary building code that promises to improve energy efficiency. He also questions why Saanich considers raising development cost charges for a single detached home to $16,360, a 240 per cent increase or $11,551 extra.

Edge’s critique of Saanich happens against the backdrop of a changing climate for the construction industry.

Edge said a recent presentation from leading figures in the real estate industry reached the conclusion that the “market is undergoing moderation” that is going to shape the decisions of local builders.

“With peak land costs, declining sales, challenging and costly permit processes, and rising [government] fees, we are in a very risky environment for [speculative] home building,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Protesters leaving Swartz Bay ferry terminal

Movement in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters

The portage beach would add safety to the Victoria Waterways Loop

Oak Bay driver hits cyclist, police consider blaming snow boots

Break and enter, thefts also seen in mid-January

Downtown Victoria businesses band together to hire private security company following rise in thefts

Lower Johnson Street businesses have had little to no response from VicPD

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital back to normal after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Site of planned Jumbo Valley ski resort to be protected, managed by First Nations

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

Most Read