Council ratified measures to temporarily suspend the Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA) for single residential properties and exclude 29 properties from it.

Saanich’s suspension of controversial bylaw finalized

Council ratified the temporary suspension of the EDPA and excluded 29 properties from its application

In the end, it all happened quickly and quietly.

Council Monday finalized measures that excluded 29 properties from the provisions of an environmental bylaw and temporarily suspended its application to single residential properties.

Mayor Richard Atwell and Couns. Susan Brice, Fred Haynes, Colin Plant and Leif Wergeland approved final reading of two bylaws affecting the map and application of the Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA). Couns. Judy Brownoff, Dean Murdock and Vicki Sanders voted against the measures.

The first measure excludes 29 properties from the EDPA map, the second temporarily suspends the application of the EDPA to single residential properties, the largest category of properties subject to EDPA provisions.

The EDPA – which is currently undergoing a review – seeks to protect environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs) and has been the subject of considerable public debate.

Its most vocal critics claim the EDPA denudes their private sphere by imposing undue restrictions on them, restrictions they say devalue their properties. Other critiques have challenged the accuracy of the map identifiying areas subject to the EDPA and its procedures, specifically those for excluding properties.

Atwell , for example, last month framed the EDPA as paternalistic piece of policy out of step with current times, while difficult to administer in arguing for its temporary suspension. “For me, we have moved forward years ago with great intentions, but unfortunately, stepped into the quagmire of the nanny state, where we are telling [residents] what is good for you,” he said.

While proponents have acknowledged these concerns, they defend the EDPA as a necessary tool to protect and restore sensitive eco-systems. Proponents – perhaps none more forcefully than Murdock – have argued that the temporary suspension represents a fatal blow.

“If the EDPA is a house, the roof is leaking and we better get somebody in to have a look,” Murdock said previously. “I think that sounds reasonable. We want to make sure that we are able to keep the house. What I think we are doing today … under the guise of a temporary exemption … is that we are making a decision to knock the house down.”

None of these arguments however aired Monday. Both votes took place in less than a minute and generated no debate.

Just Posted

Octogenerian to start New Year with 60-day flight around South America

Cordova Bay’s Bob Vance helped raise $425,000 for Hope Air

Esquimalt’s Pyjama Prance tours Township on a frosty morning

Third annual event sees largest turnout yet, raises $1,738 for The Rainbow Kitchen

Omnibus Victoria Zoning Bylaw raises alarms

Neighbourhood associations, councilors express concern over streamlined development process

VIDEO: Carlton House knitters send warmth to Our Place

Residents of Carlton House have been working all year in preparation for the holidays

Big OT win in Prince George for Victoria Royals

Western Hockey League clubs do battle again in Cariboo on Tuesday

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

Saanich Braves pee wee team headed to Ottawa’s hockey on the hill

A Saanich Braves pee wee team are taking their “show on the… Continue reading

Students lose eligibility over school transfer

Academics, catchment have priority over high school sports

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

Saanich real estate sales top $65 million in November

New figures show the price for an average single family home in… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read