Significant issues remain with Environmental Development Permit Area

There are many issues raised by the article about the property on San Marino Crescent

Re: Homeowners speak out in support of EDPA – Saanich News June 24.

There are many issues raised by the article about the property on San Marino Crescent, which is within the Environmental Development Permit Area, and was recently sold, at above the asking price.

The home was built, starting in 2009 before the EDPA came into place. Many oak trees were removed. The property is almost completely in the EDPA. If the same house were to be built under the current EDPA bylaw, could that same house be built that now covers a significant portion of the property?

Would there be significant restrictions, such as a covenant on all of the back yard? If the property were sold under the EDPA, before the new house was built, would the property sell quickly or would it be listed for over 400 days as has happened for some properties with older houses or no houses? Trying to build a new house, where an older house existed, has been one of the most significant issues with the EDPA.

The other major issue is that the EDPA places restrictions on properties where no Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) exists. If one is to view the listing photographs for this San Marino Crescent property, it appears that the back yard consists of lawn, ornamental gardens and dense areas of English ivy. This would have to be confirmed on the ground. If it were confirmed on the ground, then the property does not have a sensitive ecosystem and it should be removed from the EDPA, similar to the Rainbow properties and many others that are still in the EDPA. Many of these ecosystems are already gone. Supporters of the present EDPA will not admit to this fact.

One of the San Marino Crescent neighbours indicates that their property borders Leeds Park. Leeds Park has Garry oak trees (and others), but is completely covered in English ivy and the toxic spurge-laurel.

If the District of Saanich feels that Garry oak ecosystems are so important, why are they not restoring this park to a natural ecosystem, especially when they expect private landowners within the EDPA to do the same on their properties? Why are the landowners that are in support of the EDPA not being very vocal about this Saanich Parks issue, when the District of Saanich holds most of the best condition Garry oak ecosystems left on the Saanich Peninsula?

There have been many significant issues caused by the EDPA. There will be more, until a more reasonable and scientific approach is taken.

Anita Bull, president

Saanich Citizens for a Responsible EDPA