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LETTER: Saanich quietly dismantling local area plans

(Black Press Media file photo)

On April 30, the residents of Saanich are scheduled to have their last chance to have a public hearing regarding the new official community plan for the entire municipality, which will be in effect for years.

How many of them do you think are aware of that? I would estimate that over 90% of Saanich’s approximately 120,000 residents are completely unaware of this.

I am going to estimate that far more than 90% of residents are also unaware that Saanich is poised to effectively disable their local area plans on that date, by not including them in the OCP bylaw; as revealed by what is apparent not only from the posted agenda for that day, but also from statements from staff and at least one elected official.

Saanich is poised to do this in a way that is as subtle as possible.

My question is this: Why has Saanich’s mayor, council and staff not properly informed the public of this crucial event that will very likely lead to lasting upheavals in their communities, when most of the public will never even have had the inkling that they could have had their input on it?

Is it because the elected officials of Saanich know that the public does not want their local area plans to be disabled? Is that why they have not properly informed the public that this will take place?

I can’t see how it could have been any other way. To me, it appears very clear that this mayor and council does not want the public to know that their local area plans are likely going to be rendered non-legally binding, and even more so, does not want their input on this.

Why? Because informed public input would make clear that the overwhelming majority of residents will be horrified at this undemocratic and reckless approach to community planning, which could only be described as radical and reckless deregulation that will be a disaster to the ecology, health and well-being of the populace.

To call this community planning is too generous. It is the forced abolition of it.

Sasha Izard