More News About Vantreight Development Proposal

A group of concerned North and Central Saanich citizens recently contacted me and asked that I post on this blog site contact information for them and a brief summary about their efforts. They are working to inform citizens about the proposed density housing development slated for the northwest corner of the Vantreight farm in Central Saanich (at the North Saanich/Central Saanich border). This development has been the subject of public controversy, given its potential impacts on adjacent neighbourhoods, the ALR and land use, the CRD Regional Growth Strategy and on local resources and infrastructure such as roads/traffic, water, waste disposal and energy consumption.

My understanding is that Central Saanich Council moved one step closer at their December 14 Council meeting and voted, among other things, to send the proposal to the CRD's Planning Department for its review. This could be significant to the future of the proposal in my view, given that if the development is found to contravene or compromise Central Saanich's Regional Context statement in its Official Community Plan, then the development proposal becomes the centerpiece in a wider discussion and approval process at the CRD Board table, under the provisions of the Regional Growth Strategy's (RGS) amending formula.

You may recall a similar situation in the Highlands about 2 years ago when a controversial application to provide municipal water to Bear Mountain Resort required an amendment because it contravened the Highlands' Official Community Plan's Regional Context Statement, requiring a referral for decision to the CRD Board. The Highlands decision became a galvanizing issue locally and regionally related to the RGS; I understand that to amend the RGS needs unanimous support of the CRD Board. The CRD Board ultimately turned down the Highlands application, the decision was appealed and mediation by the Province was attempted but failed.

North Saanich Mayor and Council have already forwarded a letter to Central Saanich Mayor and Council outlining our concerns about the proposal, given its extremely close proximity to North Saanich Southeast Quadrant neighbourhoods. To date, I understand that in addition to a variety of land use and environmental concerns, a planned road allowance into the development and lack of sufficient buffering could create significant noise and air pollution from traffic gaining access and egress right through Southeast Quadrant neighbourhoods. Naturally, North Saanich will make every effort to mitigate any impacts on its residents.

For more information about the concerned citizens group, please visit their blog site at For detailed information about the Vantreight development proposal, please visit the Central Saanich website at