Our Local Trust Committee is considering Bylaw 530. If passed, this would rezone most residential properties to allow a second residence, even on properties less than an acre, in drinking lake watersheds, in areas short of water and in groundwater recharge areas. We all agree there is an affordable housing crisis and we support various remedies, but not this. Bylaw 530 provides almost every landowner here the ability to develop a second residence. By allowing more development, this bylaw would throw flames on an already overheated real estate market. It will increase illegal vacation rentals making the housing crisis even worse. Some well-meaning individuals, concerned about the housing crisis, see draft Bylaw 530 as a partial solution. We see it as a huge mistake. Please ask that the bylaw be withdrawn. Below are suggested speaking points: 1. We all agree that there is severe need for more affordable housing. The best way to assure affordability and rental to island …Read more about Reconsider proposed Bylaw 530
Opinion: Is there a bigger picture to affordable housing?
There is no doubt we want affordable housing, particularly for our essential workers. A total of 132 “affordable” housing units are now finished or under construction, and these are potentially available to workers but also others. Additional projects are in the works. But what about the bigger picture? Our Official Community Plan states: “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.” The 17,000 figure is certainly low because it does not include current cottages and suites occupied full time, both legally and illegally. The latest census (2016) found a population of 10,640. That means a population increase of at least 7,000 is inevitable under the current zoning. To provide for more housing, so…Read more about Opinion: Is there a bigger picture to affordable housing?
Straight Talk on the Fire Trustee Election
I am Maxine Leichter, an independent candidate for fire trustee, running against a group running together who, if elected, will form a majority of the Board. Every member of the Board should have an equal voice. It may be that a majority of trustees are like-minded. But to have a block that does not need to consult with other trustees is not democracy. My husband is a paid-on-call support member of the Fire Department who performs communications, safety and logistics duties. That is how I became informed and concerned about our fire department. There is more to being a fire trustee than implementing the changes recommended in the Walker Report independent review. It is about setting the direction of an essential public service in an open, thoughtful and business-like way without reducing essential service levels, without diminishing community safety and without drastically increasing our homeowners’ fire insurance rates. It requires giving our firefighters the …Read more about Straight Talk on the Fire Trustee Election