More Projects and Priorities…
Official Community Plan (OCP) update
We are (over)due for an Official Community Plan review and update, especially given the pressures for affordable and infill housing. I have had the opportunity to work with three versions of the OCP (1990, 1999, 2008) and to read the first two (1979, 1985).
Council continues to pursue safe access off the Pat Bay Highway into Keating. Transit improvements are also due, especially for Brentwood Bay. As part of its Climate Leadership Plan, the District is working to bring MODO Car Share to Central Saanich; car share memberships have been a condition of several development approvals. I support Greater Victoria’s submission to Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge ($10 million): “We will collaboratively create a multimodal transportation network that is convenient, green, and affordable…”
Council adopted a Climate Leadership Plan this summer which I support (https://www.centralsaanich.ca/our-community/climate-leadership). I also intend to go forward with multi-modal and active transportation planning to encourage people out of cars and to use alternate means of transportation, including electric bikes (which I plan to buy one day soon). Central Saanich will continue to lobby for improved transit and a seat on the Transit Commission. We continue to work toward bringing MODO car share to Central Saanich (Council has approved over 75 care share memberships in new developments, paid for by the developer). I also support Smart Cities principles in the development of new housing and am Council liaison on the South Island Prosperity Projects’s (SIPP) Smart Cities Challenge (see above).
I support actions that encourage our local business community and enhance our village centres and industrial area. Council invested in the formation of an Economic Development Advisory Committee that completed two business walks (Saanichton, Brentwood Bay) and is working on third (Keating). The District also became a partner in the South Island Prosperity Project, a regional partnership of local governments, First Nations, business and educational institutions. Council is ready to start a planning process for Saanichton Village. Central Saanich also completed a Keating Business District Implementation Plan, in part to create a business case for construction of safe access off Highway No. 17.
I’ve worked with local, regional and provincial food and agriculture organizations (see What About Bob) over past last 20 years and continue to support our farms as a Councillor. One of the most pressing needs is to allow on-farm farm worker accommodation, a concern I would like to see resolved for larger farms for the 2019 growing season, then to work on solutions for smaller farms.
Central Saanich is located in the traditional territory of the WSANEC people and includes the communities of Tsartlip and Tsawout First Nations. It’s important that we continue with our reconciliation process and build strong relations with our First Nations neighbours. Council initiated the process of transfer of TIXEN to Tsawout which should be completed in 2019. Construction of a sidewalk, lighting and a crosswalk on the western end of Stelly’s Cross Road will begin soon with the majority of the funding for $1.6 million dollar project coming from Indigenous Affairs Canada. The need for the sidewalk was identified by Tsartlip at a Community 2 Community forum.
I’ve never known a candidate who didn’t say “I’ll be fiscally responsible” or known a Councillor who didn’t try to control tax increases. No one wants tax increases but sometimes we want improved services too. For example, an Active Transportation Plan will outline construction of new amenities required to meet community concerns about pedestrian and cyclist safety. Taxes of course also go up due to inflation even if we simply maintain current service levels. I’ll do my best to balance these objectives.
Over the last few years the District has engaged in a planning process for a management plan for Brentwood Bay (the water bit, not the village) and applied for a Licence of Occupation that would give the municipality more regulatory control over the water. I support continuation of this process and look forward to a collaborative resolution. This is also an important partnership with the Tsartlip First Nation.