The environmental and social merits of ADU Bylaw 530

I am writing this article to hopefully clear up any confusion about the environmental and social merits of bylaw 530, permitting Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) for full time occupancy on more properties on SSI. First of all everyone I know advocating for this solution recognizes that this is not the only answer to our complex housing problems, but merely one important step to address a portion of the wide spectrum of desperate need for housing on our island. Allowing full time dwelling suites not only within principle residences, but also accessory buildings such as garages, shops, studios and even as small cabins or cottages is standard planning practice that is often adopted as a first step to address housing shortages in communities all over North America, and indeed in our region and islands.

For me this is well framed by being a featured solution in the Island Trust’s own report commissioned in 2003: “Options for Affordable Housing: New Solutions to the Housing Crisis in the Islands Trust Area” by Normandy Daniels, where she writes:

“Perhaps the most readily available, and inexpensive, source of rental housing stock would be that created within existing buildings and residences on private land throughout the islands. As in larger or more urban communities (where legalization of suites is becoming more popular), secondary suites, garden suites, garage apartments, and the like are a way to increase human density without increasing development pressure on the land or requiring additional infrastructure.”

The environmental benefit of ADU’s are: They are low impact, small footprint, make use of existing buildings or doubling the use of planned buildings. It is cheaper to retrofit existing buildings than build new ones, requiring less new raw resources and energy to operate. No new subdivisions, no new roads or clear cuts required. Secondary infill is the opposite of rural sprawl, it adds a layer of flexible, low impact housing within existing infrastructure without changing the character of properties and neighbourhoods.

Housing locally the people needed to serve our community is necessary for community resilience. We need to be less reliant on a commuting workforce…and, for those of us concerned about climate change, this reduces the significant and growing carbon impact of commuters, not to mention the strain on our already overburdened ferry system.

Water: sufficient water must be proved for occupation permit, no water no ADU. Rainwater harvesting is an option but there is an extra cost associated so still represents a barrier. Long term occupants of small dwellings use less water, especially compared with vacationers, irrigation and the waste leakage of community water system’s failing infrastructure. A recent SSIWPA study showed that SSI community water systems average household use is around 230L per day. That is approximately the volume of a 50 gallon rain barrel. Please end the fear that allowing a few extra small dwellings is going to somehow drain our aquifers dry. I have a unique perspective being the person people call when they have a water shortage. I can tell you no one has ever ordered water because their well has been negatively affected by a neighbours tenant’s use. We need to be careful in some areas, yes, but no one is more acutely aware of protecting their groundwater than those who have a low yielding well. Full time occupants living with limited volume systems are the most frugal and conscientious users. It is unconscionable to try to place the burden of protecting our aquifers on the backs of the young families we need to support our community.

The merit of ADUs as a part of the solution to our housing crisis is proved by the fact that hundreds if not thousands are already housed by suites and cabins of some sort all over this island, despite the current nonconforming status. Smart planning recognizes what people are already doing to solve a problem, and empower this solution to be more broadly accepted and safer. If nothing else this bylaw will protect those that are already housed this way, and this is significant.

It is true that the cost of building will limit the creation of new rentals, and not everyone wants to be a landlord. This is why in order for this type of permission to be successful it should be extended broadly to all properties equally, in order to capture all those who are willing and able to participate. We need to end the fear that this bylaw will result in an environmentally destructive overrun of our population capacity. We would be lucky if we achieved 10 % uptake of new units over time. In order to be a more effective solution, we as a community, can also encourage more uptake of this style of housing once it is legally permitted by supporting would be, but nervous landlords with a Landlord Tenant Matching Service, (to help support positive landlord tenant relationships) and advocating for the return of the right for landlords to have a fixed lease so that they can see how their relationship with a tenant goes before being essentially locked in forever. This is a significant barrier to the creation of private rentals that is often underestimated. We need to advertise publicly, engage our friends and neighbours that we are in a deep crisis and we need everyone to pitch in if we have any hope of salvaging a functional and resilient community capable of serving our own needs.

If we were to be included in the STV tax, the stick of the tax could now legally become a carrot to incentivise vacant property owners to save thousands of dollars per year by housing someone legally in a “caretaker” ADU. Additionally we could advocate for a tax credit incentive for property owners who provide a long term rental.

Also often overlooked is the fact that ADU’s are not only about providing rentals but also allows for multi-generational living, and retiring and downsizing in place on one’s own beloved property. They are also mortgage helpers that assists a family on the verge of home ownership to be able to afford to get into the market.

Speaking of affordability, there seems to be concern that ADU’s will not offer “truly” affordable rentals. Let’s clarify this point. Affordability is a relative term that, according to CMHC, is defined by 30% of gross household income towards shelter. On SSI, every household earning under 200,000/year is in the same boat of not being able to qualify for a mortgage on an average starter home. This means there are plenty of working families, who can afford to pay higher rents, but there is next to nothing available, which puts pressure downwards on the whole spectrum of housing needs. Encouraging private owners to rent out a space is not meant to equal government subsidized housing for lower income part of the spectrum. This is market housing, and in order for market housing to be more affordable there needs to be sufficient supply to meet the demand. If we have enough adequate housing there will be less profiteering of outlandish rents for substandard housing.

The proposed bylaw clearly states that these ADUs cannot be used for short term rental, so the fear that this will somehow further add to the proliferation of illegal STVRs is unfounded. Regulating legal BnB businesses with a licence system would greatly ease the efforts of enforcement against illegal vacation rentals and will allow us as a community to decide how many beds we want to have rented out for tourists on a given peak day, an important control for those concerned about the impacts of vacationers on water use and infrastructure, while still sustaining a reasonable amount of tourism for the economy.
Permitting ADU’s is just one first step of many recommendations to be proposed by the Housing Task Force, which together are designed to find a balance of housing a diverse and healthy population with minimal impact per capita on the environment. This is not achieved by arbitrary figures of how many people someday, but by transforming how we all live so that collectively we live with a smaller ecological footprint.

We also need multifamily purpose built rentals close to village centers. But the challenge is that we don’t have any local government agency taking responsibility for building such complexes. We depend upon non-profits who have been putting in valiant efforts to recently bring the SS Commons and Croftonbrook projects to fruition. But these efforts have taken a long time and are very costly. At the rate of less than 10 units per year of effort, it would take over 60 years to fulfill the housing need of 600 Units identified in the CRD 2020 Housing needs assessment (based on 2016 Census data, thus already sorely out of date).
Please recognize the small but essential contribution that bylaw 530 might have to contribute desperately needed housing options to our community. Please Email the Islands Trust at ssiinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca and express your support.

 

August 9, 2022 1:52 PM

  • T. M. H says:

    It just makes sense. We are landlords with an ADU and the young, vibrant couple (now employed in local businesses) occupying it, almost abandoned hope of ever finding a home. The same is true for the young family we rent our neighbouring investment property to (it took them seven months).

    The result of closing our minds to creative housing solutions is that our community is being gutted of any hope of generational diversity. As we lose so many creative and talented young people, SS has become a geriatric ghetto.

    To this writer, a relative newcomer, SS always had the enviable appearance of a progressive, conscientious place that didn’t just ‘preserve and protect’ the environment, but also it’s community of residents. It saddens me to say, the optics are quite contrary to the reality. Enacting this bylaw might renew my hope.

  • rhonanmann says:

    Thanks for your comment! Preserving and protecting a vibrant and conscientious community as well as the environment is what motivates me and others to try to find solutions to the crazy mess we are in.

  • EmJae says:

    Well written and spot on - let's get this DONE!

  • Frants Attorp says:

    Rhonan, where is the OCP amendment to accompany this proposed bylaw? I am sure you know that bumping up the build-out population by many thousands is a major change for the island. An OCP amendment would make it crystal clear that the 17,000 limit in our OCP is being dumped, and that we're entering a new era of unlimited growth. The population cap is supposed to be based on science, not just pulled out of a hat. So where is the science to back up removal of the cap? What's happening right now is unethical and possibly illegal. So many questions remain unanswered. Where is the broad public discussion regarding removal of the cap? What should be the settlement patterns on the island - concentrated in existing villages or spread out over the island? The CRD does not require applicants to prove increased water extraction will not affect neighbours. The only thing ensuring the new densities will be for long-term rentals is the bylaw itself, and as we know there is no enforcement on SSI. Would the standing resolution regarding no enforcement be lifted if this bylaw is passed? And here is the biggest question of all: How is Salt Spring, which is supposed to be a protected area, supposed to deal with a never-ending housing crisis? If the response is going to be increased densities every time a crunch is felt, there will be nothing left to protect. We will have patches of green surrounded by semi-urban, much like the Saanich Peninsula...but without their services. Despite all my concerns, I would be sorely tempted to support the bylaw if the thousands of new units that will most assuredly be build over the long term were guaranteed to go to the target group, but that is not case. So why create thousands of additional densities that can never be taken back and that have so much downside? So many question that have not been asked or answered. Sorry, but Salt Spring Solutions and the housing task force do not own our OCP. This community deserves a full discussion of all the issues before this type of change is adopted. We have to start with the vision and the big philosophical questions, and then go from there. Anything less than a full review of our OCP is unacceptable. Right now, it seems our OCP has been hijacked by a special interest group and that the process is being manipulated. I am tired of debating the issues in the media. This isn't the right way to do things.

  • Chapman says:

    Excellent well thought-out analysis, Frants. Panic and special interests are indeed trying to hijack Salt Spring's Official Community Plan, and betray the Islands Trust mandate. Without the Trust, we wouldn't have the Gulf Islands we know and love today --they'd be built-up and ruined for everyone by now.

  • rhonanmann says:

    Frants, Thank you for your comments, I have answers to all of your questions. Believe me that we consider all if these same issues but we arrive a different conclusions. I would love to explain why in detail but each point requires space....I will try to address some points here.

    I would love to have a private conversation with you and others who don't seem to understand our rationale. I think in the end we want the same thing or at least similar. We do not want the destruction of our environment. We do not want our population over run. But we see a pathway where our community can live with less impact on the environment collectively and therefore host the adequate population to support our needs and services. It's an equation of balance and flexibility not black and white.

    I wish I could share with you all the recommendations the task force is putting together, it also includes methods to protect contiguous forest and undeveloped land....

    I agree that the OCP needs to be updated, but it already contains many passages that support a healthy diverse community. It is part of the Housing Action Program charter to update the OCP and the LUB. But that will take some time. The recommendations made so far are meant to take a step to address the immediate crisis as much as possible without an OCP amendment (in the interest of time)
    The OCP is meant to be interpreted as a whole and not just specific passages in isolation. That interpretation and consideration ultimately lies with our elected trustees.
    The 17,000 figure that you quote is not a hard cap but rather the result of an example background note for reference based on assumptions, interpretations and variables:

    "B.2.1 Housing quantity
    Background Note: There are approximately 5800 residential lots on Salt Spring Island (2007).
    While approximately 1300 of these are vacant, local zoning allows for the construction of a single family dwelling on each of them. Of the existing residential parcels, many are large enough that they can be further subdivided under the existing local subdivision bylaw. A few are zoned for multi-family use. All told, the number of dwelling units (not including seasonal cottages and suites) that could be built on Salt Spring Island under current residential zoning is estimated to be about 8150. The eventual population of Salt Spring Island that might result from the zoning now in place is estimated to be a little over 17,000."

    Notice: that this does not include cottages and suite (ADUs) , the words "...could be built.." and "...estimated to be..."
    This "note" is often referred to in conjunction with this policy:

    "B.2.1.2.1 Zoning changes should be avoided if they would likely result in a larger island population than is expected under the development potential zoned in 2008. Exceptions to this policy are to be few and minor and only to achieve affordable housing and other objectives of this Plan."
    To be clear CMHC defines “Affordable Housing” as 30 percent of house hold income. The housing crisis on SSI puts us in a state where any house hold earning under 200,000 / year is looking for housing they can afford, but there is nothing available. “Affordable Housing” does not necessarily equate “low cost housing”

    "B.2.1.1 OBJECTIVES
    B.2.1.1.1 To support a mix of housing types in appropriate locations without compromising protection of the natural environment.
    B.2.1.1.2 To develop zoning that allows many different types of housing and accommodates a diverse
    population.
    B.2.1.1.3 To acknowledge that a framework that limits growth may restrict housing choices as supply is limited; to respond to the challenge of fostering socioeconomic diversity within such a framework."

    So I am not a lawyer but I can read English, and when I look at all those OCP points together and bylaw 530 and consider the crisis that is decimating our community I can see how the trustees are justified in furthering this bylaw. ADUs are accessory, they are not new densities (subdivided parcels) These are not new ideas as I referenced in my article, but have been suggested as solutions in the Trusts own reports since at least 2003.
    The OCP also calls for regular housing needs assessments. The last one from 2020 says we need 600 units of housing for the people already here who are being displaced. The era of single family dwellings as housing that is affordable to the working class is essentially over. How do you propose to house those people? Who serves our community if all the working class are displaced by wealthy retirees?
    The fact is this: If we maintain the status quo, the build out will be occupied by only wealthy people. The working class will be entirely displaced. There is virtually no limit to the destruction of the environment by the development of these wealthy single family homes and subdivisions. It is the new roads, driveways, clearcuts and massive houses associated with this current entitled development that is hurting our environment, not people living in small dwellings within existing buildings on existing infrastructure… We need to find the balance for a healthy community and environment and the status quo is not it!
    Why don't we work together to truly protect the environment and sustain a healthy community. The key concept is this: Net Impact on the environment per capita!

    I would be happy to discuss at length with you and your associates.

  • w101 says:

    Exactly.. ! do something now. No more studies or "not in my backyard, get off my lawn" feet dragging.. Talk about 1st world problems.

  • w101 says:

    Thank you! Well done.

  • Frants Attorp says:

    Thanks Rhonan, but I feel you keep dodging the points I make. Notice the word "seasonal" before cottages and suites. The new ADU allowances will have a dramatic effect on the build-out total so there should be an OCP amendment. Are you aware that the Trust's own lawyers have said there must be no more than a 5% deviation from the build-out total? Bylaw 512 (cottages bylaw) plus other rezoning blasted through that a long time ago. Also, you haven't addressed the probability that most of the new ADUs will go to tourist accommodation. Allowing thousands of new structures for very little return while causing lots of degradation makes no sense. If the bylaw can't be targeted more than it presently is, it shouldn't be passed. We need a Trust-sponsored meeting to discuss so many things, especially what to do about a housing crisis that can be alleviated but never solved. We are in a tough spot as a protected area and long-term planning is essential. Will talk to others about a meeting but let's remember we are not the government. Talking is good.

  • SSIDancer says:

    The focus of this thread is ADU’s.
    Whats not discussed is the STVR’s have carte blanche access
    with this bill. This is the elephant in the room.
    Put a temporary open ended cap on STVRs starting asap until we have housing
    for the 600 plus needing a space.
    By that time we will be able to figure out a definitive cap on STVR”S.
    With out a cap on STVR’s we become just one more Tourist Trap of a community.
    Chamber president said last week 33% of our economy is tourism.
    The Economic Development group on the island is little more than a front for Tourism.
    They are the Elephant and the plague that will make a mockery of the OCP
    in a heartbeat with massive investment in STVR’s in a few short years.
    Once the genie is outa the bottle it ain’t going back in.

  • SSIDancer says:

    Should read ....Put a temporary open ended cap on STVR’s until we have the 600 units plus to take care of present housing needs.

  • Ryan Toovey says:

    Sounds to me like a bunch of children trying to fight over who gets the last bit of gravy for their fries…
    Welfare government like Islands Trust can only come up with finger pointing tactics to direct the blame for the lack of housing onto the home owners of this island.
    The local gov is 100% to blame for lack of housing.
    If the local gov had the ability and or the will to fix this problem, we wouldn’t be sitting here reading and writing all this BS.
    Build an apartment/condo building in town!
    Rezone some land, canvas the local builders to submit bids, and get it done!
    Anything short of this solution is simply pathetic and divisive.
    Once this island has true leadership, very simple problems like this can be easily managed.
    It’s time for a mayor!
    It’s time for change!
    It’s time for some people to admit their own incompetence, and step aside so that a real governing body can be formed to take care of this easily solved problem.

  • Wayne Hewitt says:

    For information - The Islands Trust only governs land use land planning and is responsible for following the SSI Official Community Plan which was approved in 2008 by the Provincial government. The Islands Trust does not have the authorizations to build housing or the budget for it. Services like building inspections, animal control , transit, recycling , noise bylaws, parks and recreation , emergency management, water and sewer services etc are all services of the CRD. The CRD does have a tax component for housing in our property tax bills. The islands Trust does not. The SSI CRD total tax requisition was $6,853,755 in 2021 . The entire area of the Islands Trust ( 450 islands and surrounding water in the Salish Sea ) only received $ 9.1m. Salt Spring Islands share is much less than what is received by the SSI CRD . Please look at your property tax and you will see that you pay much more for the CRD than you do for the Islands Trust.

  • Maxine Leichter says:

    This article makes so many false arguments, a rebuttal is lengthy.

    All you say about short term effects of bylaw 530 is beside the point. Those opposed to bylaw 530 are concerned about the long-term effects, which is more and more growth that is not sustainable, and will over time, destroy what the Islands Trust was created to protect WITHOUT supplying a meaningful amount of affordable housing for island workers.

    It is untrue that there is a lack of a local government entity to build affordable housing. Following the format set by the province, there is currently an effective collaboration between non-profits and the CRD which has built 115 affordable housing units and 75 more are in the works. This IS the solution for providing affordable housing in appropriate locations near town or public transportation.

    A report put out by the islands Trust doesn’t mean it is the right solution for Salt Spring. The report does not recommend suites or cottages on ALL properties. Multigenerational families can be accommodated by adding bedrooms to existing homes.

    The amount of water used is mostly dependent on the number of people using it (not the size of a house) i.e. toilet flushing, body, dishes and clothes washing. Bylaw 530 does nothing to control house size. Bylaw 530 requires proof of water but current standards do not consider effects on neighbours or even the time of the year testing takes place. Folks have been asking for better standards for years. People who are short of water do not share this information because it can reduce property values. Until there are better standards, everyone on groundwater is at risk from over use of this resource.

    Bylaw 530 has no tenant matching service, or any new staffing to enforce its provisions. Poor and ineffective enforcement has been the rule for the 19 years I’ve been here and likely decades before that. That includes poor enforcement against STVRs which is why this bylaw will just facilitate more.

    A CRD run business license system for STVRs will only switch enforcement from the Trust to the CRD, which gives no guarantee it will be more successful. A business licensing system that allows STVRs at some locations and not at others, makes it difficult for the public to identify violators. That system has not been successful in Victoria, with more enforcement capability than here. Bylaw 530 bars Bed and Breakfasts in suites or cottages. I predict that when the B&B owners complain, this restriction will be removed from the bylaw making enforcement even more confusing and difficult.

    We all need to live with the limitations of our natural environment and the infrastructure we can afford. Suites and cottages on all properties may be a good solution for towns and cities that have sufficient infrastructure to accommodate growth and sufficient water and sewage treatment facilities. They are not appropriate for an island with limited resources and infrastructure. Affordable housing should be provided but in ways that assure it will be affordable and go to the persons to need it.

  • Ryan Toovey says:

    blah blah blah...time to wane ourselves of these silly arguments whos only purpoose is to destract the populations attention and direct blame away from the true cause of this issue. the true cause of this issue is a silly entity called islands trust and their supporters and their ridiculous arguments.
    Its time for real action, not more blah blah blah.
    Q: Who wants to be the first mayor of Salt Spring Island?

  • Murray Reiss says:

    You may want to do a little reading up on ghettos before you use the term. A quick look at Wikipedia would tell you this: "A ghetto ... is a part of a city in which members of a minority group live, especially as a result of political, social, legal, environmental or economic pressure. Ghettos are often known for being more impoverished than other areas of the city. The term was originally used for the Venetian Ghetto in Venice, Italy, as early as 1516, to describe the part of the city where Jewish people were restricted to live and thus segregated from other people.

    To which I would add that in Nazi Germany Jews were first herded into ghettos and from there into concentration and extermination camps.

    Doesn't resemble any Salt Spring I can recognize.

  • Murray Reiss says:

    Here's where I get confused. On the one hand you state, "The recommendations made so far are meant to take a step to address the immediate crisis as much as possible without an OCP amendment (in the interest of time)" On the other hand, other members of Salt Spring Solutions have written that the bylaw would legalize only “small homes few property owners are likely to build.” How does this address an immediate crisis?

  • Alf says:

    Soon every day of the week will be like it is on Saturdays. Thank god for the agricultural land reserve - as it is now anyways.

  • Ryan Johnson says:

    IS NOW THE TIME…?!

    Is now the time (in the middle of a consensus called by people of all stripes: ‘housing crisis’) to slap up ‘NO CAMPING OR OVERNIGHT PARKING’ signs? New ones popping up unannounced around Ganges startled me. Not only because I live in an R.V. (Or secret tent in the woods,) but also for the sheer stupidity.
    We’re not talking people’s driveways or patios. Included is a picture of one of the signs posted in front of an overgrown empty lot. That is short-sighted greed…(you’re not even protecting something you’re using—) and if you plant such seeds, be sure the fruit you will not like.
    An ancient scripture says (and for the antichrists—this is also a sentiment shared around the world by many cultures,) “The earth is The Lord’s and everything in it.” If you have a title deed to land, it is granted by humans in a questionable—like, do you even have real rights to the (unceded?!) land—government system. You are a steward of land if you are rightly “owning.” Even living in our bodies is kind of like driving rental cars; everyone will give an account and there will be inspection and consequence for our lives—even how we steward our temporary bodies—can you even add a minute or day to your life if ‘it’s your time?!’
    Yes. Government has a necessary place—but those in power are always tempted to overreach and over-regulate. An example is the CRD wanting to enforce ‘building codes’ on simple one level tiny homes built on trailers. Building codes are great to protect people living in dense apartments and giant housing which could collapse or kindle and kill many others; if someone’s tiny home collapses they may need ice for a ‘gooseegg.’ Buzz off with over-regulation!
    Who is doing this, what authority do they have, and how many people are involved—I would guess perhaps less than twenty, or even ten people (or less) were part of the active process of these ‘NO PARKING’ signs going up. I saw no invitation for public discourse, no vote…. “Oh, but they were voted in.”
    Perhaps this may reflect the ‘will of the people’—Before we go further, I have something potentially valuable to share:
    I was raised in Canmore, Alberta; worked in Banff, Whistler and Nelson….I know special, touristy places, beautiful spots….People move to these places and love ‘the vibe’ (*’Oh! The bustling eclectic Tues/Sat Market: artisans, hippies, spiritual folks, etc…)…the beauty of Creation is all around…
    But once people get ‘their place’ they often want to block others from being able to enjoy the place—in the name of preserving their sanctuary, protecting their property values, etc….
    Consider please: about half of the people I know personally who sell at the market live on boats, or in vehicles, trailers/buses/are in precarious rental situations…are millionaires going to come stand in those stalls for hours on hot days?
    I cut your firewood.
    I weed your gardens.
    Jesus Christ, Son of God, showed up homeless…If you don’t like Christianity: spirtual dudes from the east,’ ditto: Buddha, Lao Tzu left ‘normal society’ and lived as homeless vagabonds! Now you cherish their books and words as treasure on your shelves (collecting dust? Maybe time for a reread…)… Would you have kicked them off the island?
    Of course, PLEASE POLICE CRIME. I don’t get drunk or use drugs to get high. I don’t steal, or hurt others (by the grace of God… I did these things in the past but I’m forgiven, now FREE!). People doing evil and polluting society need consequence and discipline—Please get more RCMP here and not only for a disorderly street person but to bust rich drug-dealers who often wear suits and leather more than tie-dye…
    I don’t want crime here. May Saltspring be a Kingdom of Love place!
    But is parking and camping on/in front of UNUSED LAND a crime?!
    There is a real danger of rejecting what seems ‘unseemly’—accidentally choosing death—crucifying LOVE—choosing stagnancy, fear, ‘control’…but losing LIFE…. When you stick a pin through a butterfly, you get to look at it on your wall…but it’s dead. To try to superficially ‘sanitize’ Saltspring is foolish.
    I’m OCCUPYING SALTSPRING. If you kick us off unused public street (with dubious authority—you don’t even actually have the power to make that decree—never mind tow-trucks or enforcement to back it up—and if you do attempt this…) don’t be surprised if we DO park in your driveways, and camp in your yards…(*Which may not even be noticed? —I would calculate a third of Saltspring land and houses are not even occupied more than 2 weeks out of a year.

    This is a vast island. Areas like Singapore and Taiwan are islands of similar size, and host millions… How about restructuring—-and while we do, NO enforcement/persecution of good citizens who live in vehicles and don’t bother you (except for perhaps annoying your aesthetic?!). How ‘bout let us park in safe unoccupied areas? Maybe build some shoulders and pull-outs so it’s not all in Ganges?!

  • T. M. H says:

    It’s evident by the likes and dislikes to the issue, we are a community divided. It’s ironic and a wee bit sad. In a place where ‘green’ politics dominate the agenda, where are our ‘green’ solutions to housing? Co-housing; eco-villages; tiny-home parks? If we truly lived our politics, Saltspring should be the poster child for innovation in alternative housing.

  • Brenda Guiled says:

    Thanks, Rhonna. Well-written piece.

    Re: "We also need multifamily purpose built rentals close to village centers. But the challenge is that we don’t have any local government agency taking responsibility for building such complexes. We depend upon non-profits who have been putting in valiant efforts to recently bring the SS Commons and Croftonbrook projects to fruition."

    Finding land for new affordable housing plagues every local government. Most have to rely on inexpensive and free donations from landowners like churches and non-park holdings. Salt Spring is no different in this. Where land is available and zoning allows, I see the CRD stepping up with funds to help build more units. I'm not sure we're lagging in this regard.

    Gary Holman, could you fill us in?