LETTER: ALR exclusion represents a big change

The District of North Saanich Notice of Exclusion Application Hearing for July 13 which appeared in the June 18 Peninsula News contained the following statement of intent: “The District is applying to exclude the site from the ALR in order to allow for future recreational or cultural development.”

While this is true, it shades the reason for the exclusion now. Better wording is: “The District is applying to exclude the site from the ALR in order to allow for future development of a broad community scope (zoning P-2), of which a library and the existing ‘Recreational’ use are included. ALC future decisions regarding the scope of ‘non-farm use’ will no longer be required on this parcel, as DNS bylaws take full effect.”

Note: Zoning P-2 is defined in Bylaw 1130/1280 as: The non-commercial assembly of persons for religious, charitable, philanthropic, cultural, recreational or education purposes, and includes auditoriums, youth centres, social halls, group camps, educational schools, kindergartens, play schools, day nurseries, day care schools and churches.

On Facebook: “The ALC has historically allowed expansion of PRC (ie. the pool) as a non-farm use. The ALC’s recent ruling would indicate that they may not allow such expansion in future.” That always has been true.

The application is effectively to change land use and control.

I urge all North Saanich residents to write to admin@northSaanich.ca by July 10 (this to allow two-plus days for the District to include your comments in the proceedings), unless you deliver a written version as per the public notice. No matter what your opinion, the council and ALC are listening to public interest and will use the volume of submissions in their deliberations. The process of transferring approvals to the District of North Saanich solely will a big change. The public needs to accept the result in an informed situation and not be surprised by the result.

Michael Forster

North Saanich

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