As a resident of Cadboro Bay, I have been appalled at the course of action being taken by the University of Victoria. I have been looking carefully at Saanich’s procedure for rezoning. The “discussions” with the community that are required have not been discussions at all. Lip service has been paid to consultation, but UVic has ignored all the concerns, recommendations and suggestions that came from the two meetings held. A third meeting was promised, but never occurred.
Another requirement is a project brief stating benefits to the community. Perhaps that will be forthcoming soon!
Also the Local Area Plan should be considered. The environmental and traffic assessments were contracted by UVic. They don’t seem, to me, to be very realistic, and can hardly be taken as unbiased. An individual property owner requesting rezoning is asked to submit architectural drawings, site plans and landscape plans. Surely a large institution has to conform to the same rules, especially when whatever happens will have a great impact on the surrounding community. UVic claims it has no definite plans for the property at present.
To put it politely, let me say that I find this difficult to believe. As I have commented before in letters to Saanich council, this property is not part of, or connected to, the main campus. It is in a quiet residential neighbourhood.
My hope is that Saanich council will not give the university carte blanche to build as it sees fit. The university should be required to present a detailed plan with specifics.
I understand that rezoning is necessary in order for the University to use the property, but I believe that approval should only be given when there are clear and strict parameters for the property use.