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.

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

Just Posted

Saanich offers free saplings to encourage residents to spruce up for National Tree Day

Giveaway to take place Sept. 21 in Glanford Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sooke RCMP searching for two people, reported missing on Sept. 10

Alannah Brooke Logan, 20, and Beau Richard Santuccione, 32, last seen on Otter Point Road

Victoria man plans 30-hour walk to raise funds for vulnerable youth

Take a Hike engages youth in intensive, clinical counselling and outdoor experiential learning

Opponent of proposed Sidney cannabis store calls on councillors to heed health authority advice

Council to consider revised application from Happy Buddha Cannabis on Sept. 28

New urgent, primary care health centre opens in Saanich come November

North Quadra area facility to provide same-day, ongoing care for folks without family doctors

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

Most Read