Who will write the future of Saanich? Premier Eby.

Who will write the future of Saanich?

Premier David Eby

The deleterious impacts of Bill 44, that was rushed through Royal Assent without debate on Nov 30th, will outlast his premiership by decades.

Bill 44 requires all municipalities (pop. 5000+) to increase density on lots currently zoned for single family homes or duplexes to 4 or 6 units per lot.

It eliminates public hearings on development applications that “meet” the guidelines of the Official Community Plan (OCP).

Our Official Community Plan is not designed for this.

Whether or not a community has adequate infrastructure – fire service, sewage systems, electricity – this no longer factors into this decision making. The costs will be borne by the taxpayer, not the developer. Parking congestion in your neighborhood? Bill 44 prohibits municipalities from requiring off-street parking and loading spaces in relation to residential use, with few stipulations. Trees are going to come down – everywhere.

Saanich’s environmental protections have been stripped**.

The language in our OCP is indefensible:

Encourage the retention or planting

of native vegetation in the coastal

riparian zone

Incorporate and retain high value

trees where possible

Support the protection of significant

public view corridors where identified

through detailed planning.

Our OCP was written in 2008.

In December 2023 Saanich adapted the plan – The Redline OCP is available here:


Despite the fact that this needs to be adopted before June, no date has been set for public hearing on the adoption of this plan.

Pay attention. This density increase is applied across BC.

There is no stipulation that the resulting properties are affordable.

It is applied to our shoreline properties.

One can preview the aggressiveness of the Provincial authority enacted by Bill 44 by reviewing the “Small-Scale, Multi-Unit Housing Provincial Policy Manual & Site Standards” published March 14th, 2024. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/housing-and-tenancy/tools-for-government/local-governments-and-housing/ssmuh_provincial_policy_manual.pdf

In areas where six units are permissible the “recommended benchmark regulation” for maximum lot coverage is 60-70%.

The influence of the Province’s drive for accelerated development is already upon Saanich. See our recent development approval (February 26th), 4590 Lochside Drive, for an example of what to expect.



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