Saanich family pulls a royal flush

Saanich Council award couple right to tie their new home in the 4600-block of Cordova Bay Rd. into the Saanich sewer system.

Craig and Lindsay Bryden won a unique bid at Saanich Council on Monday night, the right to tie their new home in the 4600-block of Cordova Bay Rd. into the Saanich sewer system.

Their lot is a rare one, as the front portion of the property does fall within Saanich’s sewer service area. But their new house is currently being built at the back of the property, 150 feet removed from the sewage service area, and within the Urban Containment Boundary.

Despite a seemingly airtight response from staff, which proposed the Brydens use septic until it is a proven failure, the motion was unanimously supported.

The couple is worried that an onsite septic system for their home will fail, as it is on a hill, possibly with less-than-ideal soil. Septics in nearby houses have failed, contaminating ground water, streams and creeks, while raising concern.

After a back and forth between council and staff, at which time the proposal seemed doomed by the black and white rulings in place, Coun. Susan Brice turned the momentum with a motion to support the sewage connection. Brice showed she clearly had her finger on the pulse of the chambers.

“It’s a black and white policy, no grey area, you never know for sure getting into this kind of thing what they’re going to say,” Lindsay said. “One of our closer neighbours has a septic system, which failed.”

One neighbour even opted to connect to the sewer as a plan B, but is using the septic system for now, Lindsay said.

Admittedly, the couple overlooked the fact they were bound to an on-site disposal system (septic), they said in the letter of request.

Coun. Fred Haynes instantly seconded the motion, clarifying his support stemmed from a previous site visit.

“It’s important to note that sometimes rules can be (changed),” Haynes said.

“I’m just wondering, how unique is this house versus the area,” asked Coun. Vic Derman. “Presuming it’s an unusual situation not heavily replicated in Saanich, I support it.”


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