The Local Area Plan review is underway starting with Cordova Bay and Cadboro Bay, with the remaining 10 communities to follow. I recently learned that a new study has been commenced with regards to garden suites. This study will incorporate open houses, pop-up informations sessions, surveys, etc. All of this at a tremendous cost to taxpayers.
Why is this study so necessary? Could it not be incorporated in the Local Area Plan reviews? The garden suite study is a duplication of efforts and expenses that are being incurred to conduct the LAP reviews. As Saanich struggles with limiting annual budget increases, where essential police services are in jeopardy, this seems to be a frivolous and cavalier use of funds.
Recently the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan was released after much consultation with the various community associations along the Shelbourne corridor. Before the ink was dry, council approved a development of five storeys where the “action plan” limited buildings to four. What was the point of having a four-storey limit?
As well, I question the whole need for a review of Local Area Plans. Council has shown a blatant disregard for the fundamental contents of the existing LAP and Development Permit Area guidelines in their approval of the Cordova Bay Plaza redevelopment project. Council has shown time and again that the vague and general guidelines of the Official Community Plan trump the individual detailed LAPs.
Why not review the OCP and do away with all dialogue referencing the LAP and DPA guidelines? Doing so would minimize the expectations and disappointments for the affected communities when council decides to ignore all the efforts and monies spent to create the LAPs.