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

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

250th Free Little Library installed in Victoria

Greater Victoria now has the highest density of mapped little libraries in the country

Urbanists hope to see Victoria’s unused rooftops, parkades, parking lots become usable green space

Downtown Residents Association says city dwellers should have access to parks

For the love of fibre: fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Cemetery tour explores Metchosin’s early history

A tour with grave consequences for those wishing to explore Metchosin’s history takes place Aug. 25

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read