Friday 15 July 2022

RGS Purpose

 To North Saanich Mayor and Council, 

I listened with great interest to the council meeting held on July 11th, 2022, because the Staff report - Regional Growth Background Report was being discussed. 

I noted that during the discussion, Mayor Geoff Orr explained that the  RGS and the OCP interact "back and forth" between each other.  I have several years of experience in land-use planning, and the RGS would be classified in the B.C. land use planning framework as a "Higher Level Plan", because it is a "Regional" plan.  All subsequent plans at a lower level or more area specific area like the North Saanich OCP should follow and be in "compliance" with the higher level plan. 

I was quite surprised when I started getting involved with the OCP engagement process, that Areas 1 and 2; and Deep Cove concepts were being proposed without being in compliance with the RGS.  In other B.C. land use planning scenarios, this would be totally unacceptable and would not be considered or approved because of unacceptable possible impacts to the land, water, natural resources and ecology.  Compliance with higher level plans has been a crucial cornerstone of land use planning in British Columbia for several decades, but this doesn't seem to be the case in urban planning. 

To bring the OCP into compliance, Areas 1 and 2 should return to "Rural Residential" status and not be included within the Urban Containment Boundary. 

I hope there is a clear understanding going forward, that the draft OCP must be in compliance with the RGS. 


Terry Chow

Coles Bay, North Saanich

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