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LETTER: Don’t paint all development with same brush

I can no longer sit back and allow a small group to deliberately disseminate misinformation about the current official community plan review in North Saanich and interfere with the rights of other community members.

Their two issues are the apparent lack of transparency and meaningful consultation in the review process and sensitive infill development. As a resident of 35 years, I have participated in two previous OCP reviews and I highly commend council, staff and Modus for creating by far the most inclusive and diverse consultation process to date – contrary to the misinformation distributed by these groups through social media and other means.

With regards to sensitive infill development, the group accuses the organizers of the OCP review of allowing a developer to sit on the Advisory Working Group (AWG). I have reviewed the names and background of the members of that AWG and there is not a developer amongst them.

I am the face of the dreaded developer they are warning people about. I am an 80-year-old recently widowed retired school teacher and longtime resident of North Saanich. My property is over a half-acre and I wish to subdivide it to allow my son to build a home next to me so I can age in place because there is nowhere else in North Saanich for elderly people like me to go.

Contrary to what this group claims, my application enjoyed the overwhelming support of my neighbourhood. In fact, last spring there were two similar applications and collectively council received over 180 signatures of support for them. There is no support for a rush for mass development in North Saanich, but clearly there is significant support for sensitive well-thought-out infill development.

Barbara Tolmie

North Saanich