Saanich continues to strip EDPA from books

Saanich Monday continued the process of untangling a controversial bylaw from its book, while restoring the status quo prior to its existence.

Council Monday voted 5-4 with Couns. Judy Brownoff, Dean Murdock, Colin Plant, and Vicki Sanders opposed to schedule a public hearing into a bylaw that removes all references to the Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA) bylaw from Saanich’s Official Community Plan (OCP).

Council last month voted by the same margin to rescind the bylaw following years of divisive debate.

Council Monday also voted unanimously to give three readings into three bylaws that restore the status quo in a number of areas. Council withheld final reading of the three bylaws, as one of them requires provincial sign-off. These bylaws do not require public hearing. Once Saanich has given final reading to the bylaw that removes all EDPA references from the OCP, it will approve the three remaining bylaws.

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A home with ties to the region’s history as an outpost for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is one step closer to receiving municipal heritage protection after council scheduled a public hearing.

The home located at 3956 Stan Wright Lane stands on land that HBC once owned, and represents early farm settlements in the Lake Hill area. The land around the building was once part of the North Dairy Farm, one of three HBC farms in the Greater Victoria region. The lot emerged out of a 1901 sub-division. Muriel and Albert Evans were the first owners of this house built in 1937. Stanley Victor Wright (1906-2001), a prominent periodical distributor on Vancouver Island, and his wife Margaret (née Wilson), whose family first settled in Victoria in 1859, purchased the home in 1958.

The property remained a productive holly farm until the mid-1960s. Raised and renovated in 2008, the home received the 2011 Hallmark Society Award of Merit.

The new designation means council must approve future alterations to the exterior of the building, which also becomes eligible for future assistance from the Saanich Heritage foundation for improvements.

Its current owners are William Sanders and his wife Coun. Vicki Sanders, Wright’s daughter.

Sanders declared a conflict of interest and did not vote during Monday’s council meeting that approved the public hearing.

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Let there be new lights.

Council Monday approved more than $240,000 to install a new LED lighting system in Municipal Hall, Nellie McClung Library, and in parts of Cedar Hill Recreation Centre. Harley Machielse, Saanich’s director engineering, said the municipality expects to cut electricity consumption 262,095 kilowatt hours annually — the equivalent of powering 15 homes each year. “The longevity of the LED technology will extend the life of the lighting system and push the scheduled replacement out to 20 years,” he said in a memo to council.

Westburne Electric’s bid of $244,888 beat out bids from Commercial Lighting Products ($251,805) and EECOl Electric ($252,561)

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Council Monday approved steps that will see Saanich borrow $1.7 million in long term debt to help pay for a trio of infrastructure projects.

Valla Tinney, Saanich’s director finance, said in a memo to council that the Community Charter allows municipalities to conduct temporary borrowing to bridge timing gaps with long-term debt issuance. “When long term debt funds are advanced in due course, the proceeds will pay off the outstanding temporary debt [allowing] a transfer from short term to long term debt. Temporary borrowing rates area currently very favourable.”

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