Seven stories too high for campus of care

Re: Saanich residential care building on fast track, (News, July 4)

Re: Saanich residential care building on fast track, (News, July 4)

The Saanich News story regarding residential care beds missed an important point.

In fact, it is not only Oak Bay residents who were displeased with the VIHA/Baptist/CRHD residential care proposal. Saanich residents also were opposed to parts of the Mount View Heights development.

Our neighbourhood has graciously accepted that a former school property would be developed; we welcomed Cool Aid’s housing for homeless seniors, CRD housing, and a large campus of care.

We are all well aware of the very real and urgent need for these services across the CRD.

All we asked for in return was that the care buildings be limited to four storeys, and that the community be allotted a significant park area, since the removal of green space was the greatest loss to our neighborhood.

And what were we given, for all our welcoming? A slap in the face: the largest care building will be seven storeys, and the proponents never budged on that height or the green space requests that were made.

We were made to feel that we should be happy that we got any park at all. Saanich council (excepting councillors Vic Derman and Dean Murdock) should be ashamed that they were less willing to listen to constituents than Oak Bay councillors were.

In light of all this information, the News would do well to point out that VIHA/Baptist/CRHD appear to have a problem with the design of their buildings, rather than leading readers to believe that Oak Bay council are simply being unreasonable.

And if VIHA/Baptist/CRHD really cared about these projects moving forward, they would truly listen to local residents, rather than trying to impose their will.

Chelsea Garside



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