Saanich council voted to pause the renewal of the District’s 12 Local Area Plans to the chagrin of some. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich mayor pens open letter addressing paused Local Area Plans

Council paused updates to the 12 neighbourhood plans in December to focus on housing

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes addressed concerns regarding the paused Local Area Plans in open letter to residents on Jan. 27.

In December, Saanich council voted to pause the Local Area Plans (LAPs) – objectives distinct to each of the District’s 12 neighbourhoods – in an effort to reallocate planning resources to housing availability and affordability in Saanich.

In the letter, Haynes explained that the plans were formed through “extensive community consultation” and were tailored to meet the needs identified by residents. Housing, accessibility, road safety, cycling infrastructure and environmental protection were highlighted.

READ ALSO: Saanich council pauses updates to local area plans

In the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, council directed staff to begin the process of updating the LAPs – a process that Haynes noted can take several years. The plan also included a housing strategy that he said was under-funded.

After rethinking the plan, council determined that resources needed to be refocused to “the urgent Saanich-wide housing need” and that temporarily pausing the LAPs renewal process would allow this. On Dec. 16, 2019, despite protest from residents and some members of council, the motion to hold off on updating the LAPs passed.

Haynes emphasized that re-allocating resources from LAPs updates would allow Saanich-wide housing issues to be addressed more quickly. He also noted that the community consultation that would have taken place for the LAPs renewal process will instead be conducted as part of the District’s review of Saanich’s housing needs.

READ ALSO: Saanich Talks event kicks off Local Area Plan updates

Haynes pointed out that the LAPs have not been “dismantled” and that the neighbourhood-specific environmental protections remain in place. The updates have just been put on hold, he explained.

Haynes also noted that new Development Cost Charges were also approved, which means that funds are coming in to the District which will help with “park acquisitions as well as to support improvements in neighbourhood sidewalks, cycle routes, parks and infrastructure.”

He closed the letter with a thank you to residents for their patience while Saanich’s housing needs are addressed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CommunityDistrict of Saanich

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

Just Posted

Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Campus View Elementary undergoes significant seismic upgrades

Claremont Spartans win the inaugural Senior Girls’ AAAA Basketball Island Championship

Claremont Spartans win their Feb. 15 game agains the Royal Bay Ravens 71 - 64

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read