Mapping of environmentally sensitive areas needs verification

Taxpayer money went into creating this new ESA mapping before field verification was done on the original EDPA atlas

Re: Council requests review of EDPA bylaw. Coun. Judy Brownoff is correct in indicating that a greater emphasis on education is required in moving forward with the Environmental Development Permit Area. She indicates that Planning has had a consultant working on linking corridors for the EDPA for four years. However, this information was not presented to residents at two open houses that were held to educate the public about the EDPA.

Do Saanich landowners know that their properties will be used to create these corridors on their properties? There are many new environmentally significant areas (ESAs), mapped by this same consultant, which the public were not informed about at the open houses. Many more properties could be added to the EDPA atlas and bylaw. At the same time, the proposed invasive species bylaw was kept from the public, when it has specific clauses aimed at landowners that have properties in the EDPA.

Taxpayer money went into creating this new ESA mapping before field verification was done on the original EDPA atlas. Many properties in the EDPA have neither natural ecosystems nor true ESAs. A number of scientists have come forward to say that the original ESA mapping is being misused and needs field verification. Council needs to be open to being educated about these issues.

As for Saanich lands, Coun. Brownoff indicates that 22 per cent of the EDPA occurs in Saanich parks and other lands, when in fact District of Saanich documents say that 52 per cent of the EDPA is on public lands. Our group has called for more funding to maintain and restore sensitive ecosystems such as Garry oak woodlands and coastal bluff ecosystems that occur in Saanich Parks.

We recognize that there are many very dedicated volunteers that deal with invasive shrubs in many, but not all Saanich parks. However, we have pointed out that it is the invasive grass species that are degrading Saanich’s special ecosystems, and the District of Saanich is doing nothing towards their management. If the district is putting a high standard of management on private landowners, they need to find significant funding to maintain our public lands to that same high standard.

We also believe that education is key to all individuals, including councilors, in understanding the EDPA and how it is being implemented. We will gladly give Coun. Brownoff, or any other councilor, a tour of the many hundreds of properties, currently mapped in the EDPA, which no longer have natural ecosystems (i.e. no ESAs), as well as a tour of Saanich parks which would benefit from council committing to restoration funding.

Anita Bull, president

Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA

 

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

Just Posted

Booms go up in Gorge Creek after hydrocarbon spill

The source of the spill is being investigated

Thief steals donation box, tip jar from Oak Bay businesses

Oak Bay Police Department looking for suspect

George Jay parents tired of dog poop left on school’s fields

Parents advocate for stronger fines, more signage in the neighbourhood

Dog dies, Victoria man arrested after incident in Oaklands

Police called to ‘incident between a man and a dog’ Monday afternoon

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Skier dies at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Vancouver Island home to one of Canada’s largest private skateboard collections

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Most Read