EDPA bylaw restricts rural homeowners use of their property

If Saanich wants to be an environmental leader it should start with restoration and conservation on its own properties and parks

Re: Saanich begins review of environmental development bylaw, Oct. 12. The problems with the EDPA are not just about loss of value of property due to restrictions placed that do not apply to similar properties, but also the loss of use as the EDPA limits many of the everyday uses (regardless of the limited exemptions), especially those on rural properties.

These uses cannot be initiated or expanded within EDPA areas. While Saanich spends much of its time saying it encourages these activities and lifestyles, doesn’t the unfortunate manner in which the EDPA was developed and implemented produce a very different result?

Rural lands need to be treated differently and more carefully.  Other jurisdictions recognize this distinction and are very careful with restrictions.  Most rural landowners are excellent stewards of their properties, and value the important natural areas that exist.  Encouraging these people to maintain their natural areas needs to be an important aspect of this contract, its review and a revised EDPA. The District of Saanich needs to work with individual landowners, rather than simply having restrictions placed on their properties without inspection or even telling them that they have done this to each landowner specifically.

Secondly, there is a reference in the article to the 52 per cent of properties in the EDPA being public lands. To be clear, while it’s true the EDPA mapping is applied to some public lands in Saanich, Saanich has exempted itself from the expectations, requirements and restrictions of the EDPA, it nonetheless ensures the mapping continues to apply to private property owners regardless of whether there is a sensitive ecosystem or not.

The district allows full recreational access to sensitive ecosystems on its lands. The public can walk all over these areas including areas with rare plant species.  With respect to the remaining 48 per cent of the EDPA area, representing thousands of private property owners, they are in fact only five per cent of the property owners of Saanich. It seems unfair in the extreme to have this five per cent of land owners bear the weight of 48 per cent of the EDPA burden and restrictions and costs, all with no offer of compensation or accommodation. Is this not expropriation without compensation? Or do the ends justify the means in Saanich?

If Saanich wants to be an environmental leader it should start with restoration and conservation on its own properties and parks. Is it a mark of environmental leadership to proclaim an EDPA program when invasive species dominate many areas of Saanich parks, and the control plan is to hope volunteers will keep them at bay?  Wouldn’t a complete assessment of Saanich’s sensitive ecosystems and preparation and implementation of needed conservation plans demonstrate a true, “money where one’s mouth is” environmental leadership? There are no accolades for those who oblige a few private property owners to suffer losses for a community good while exempting themselves from their comparable responsibilities.

Griff Tripp

Saanich

 

Just Posted

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Victoria police officers used less-lethal weapons to arrest a woman Sunday night after she allegedly attacked a man with a hammer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police use less-lethal weapons on woman following hammer attack

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team called to barricade situation

Thriving Toots Wilderness School is trying to buy a 98-acre plot of undeveloped land from the Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Victoria in Metchosin. (Contributed/Thriving Roots)
Hopeful buyers of Boys and Girls’ Club land in Metchosin would keep it wild

Nature-based school, partners trying to secure financing to buy 98-acre property: school director

A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community. (Black Press Media file)
Esquimalt’s temporary urgent and primary care centre to open Monday

The Esquimalt Health Unit will house the temporary site, permanent location opening in December

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Most Read