EDITORIAL: Saanich closing door on housing options

Sooner or later, Saanich needs to decide if it wants to get serious about the housing crisis gripping the region.

Saanich council forwarded a two-lot subdivision on Helvetia Crescent to a public hearing Monday night. The two homes that will likely be constructed on Cordova Bay Ridge will have little impact on the future of the community, but the stipulation council attached to its approval could create ripples felt across Greater Victoria.

Council attached a covenant that prohibits secondary suites, despite zoning that would permit the option. While the covenant comes at the urging of the applicant himself to try and alleviate the concerns of neighbours, council needs to consider the needs of the community at large over any single development or neighbours who may favour or oppose it.

Coun. Colin Plant voiced objections to allowing areas within the community to have covenants against secondary suites.

“As a councillor, I am a little uncomfortable creating pockets, where we covenant individual houses that say ‘you can’t have secondary suites,’ because of the fact that we do want to encourage residents to have legal secondary suites,” said Plant, who noted there are numerous illegal suites on Cordova Bay Ridge.

“The land use should be the land use, not assuage neighbourhood concerns.”

Yes, secondary suites can bring some unwanted disruptions to a neighbourhood. However, with a vacancy rate hovering at one per cent, and reports surfacing of construction workers being forced to live in their cars due to the shortage of adequate housing, it’s clear to see that the housing crisis in Greater Victoria extends beyond any single development.

But until our elected representatives make a determined commitment to treat affordable housing as the crisis it is, the situation is only going to get worse. The first step in doing that is to recognize that providing shelter to its citizens should take priority over any minor disruptions they might bring.

Just Posted

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Plans for Saanich’s Nigel Valley to step out of shadow

Plans for a major housing development in Saanich’s urban core are becoming… Continue reading

Five fun things to do this weekend

From a paint in to festivals, there are lots of fun events taking place this weekend

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Most Read