Culture Prior to the creation of the Salt Spring Island (SSI) Official Community Plan (OCP), there was a building culture that was diverse and showed preference for local materials. From the local timbers used at Moby’s, Grace Point, Barb’s Buns, Artspring, and Creekside, to the local stonework on the side of Thrifty’s, as columns in the high school, to the local rammed earth and cob, our local building artisans with support from clients and GCs, would think long and hard prior to hiring and buying off-island. Some of these pursuits continue today, although with more difficulty as SSI no longer has a Senior Building Inspector who can authorize unusual building assemblies. What’s been missing for me is expressing local culture in our buildings. It has been missing for so long that many people don’t even know what that means. Imagine if the contributions made to SSI by the early Hawaiians or black people or hippies, or greenies, or spiritual folk, or artists, or farmers or lo…Read more about Should the Islands Trust “Preserve and Protect the Environment, People and Culture” Mandate Apply to Housing?
The Greatest Future We Can Possibly Imagine...?
The New Year affords us the opportunity to look a bit into the distance. Will we make a resolution, reflect on the year past, or set a goal for one year from now? Is anyone looking farther into the future? We live in a world of quarterly reports, monthly rent or mortgage, hourly pay or paid biweekly, and parking by the minute. Time is money. Our reality is immediate. Climate change creates another pull to deal with the immediate. There is more certainty in the short time frame, but to neglect the longer view is to miss out. All great things are only possible inside a medium or long view. Things such as getting an education, building or buying a house, committing to a career, or having children are an expression of medium range thinking. Long range thinking is to think and plan beyond one’s lifetime in order to benefit one’s descendents, or the future of the human species. The future we create can be anything but frightening. It needs to be so great that we can’t wa…Read more about The Greatest Future We Can Possibly Imagine...?
We’ve known about and studied the affordable housing shortfall for at least 13 years and have made no headway, and perhaps gone backwards. As a response we now have an anarchic, subversive culture that thumbs their nose at regulations that don’t represent the will and needs of the population. Non-compliance has become the norm, and it is broadly believed that it is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission. We have a complaint driven, not vision driven policy paradigm Rhonan Heitzmann spoke about how we used to be a beacon for housing solutions. For example, rammed earth in Canada began on SSI. Straw bale building in the early days was centered on SSI. SSI milled its own timber, quarried its own building stone, used island sand and gravel for its concrete, and had the skilled tradesman to create remarkable projects. SSI is no longer the beacon for permitted home building solutions for the rest of the country or the world. So, what would it take to become …Read more about Housing Thoughts