March 11, 2021 board minutes

The minutes of the March 11, 2021 meeting of the CCA board of directors may be found here.

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Saanich Housing Strategy Survey

A word about the housing strategy recommendations developed for Saanich by the Housing Strategy Task Force, and a chance to win some gift cards!

What are your thoughts on the Housing Strategy Task Force recommendations? Complete the survey today!

The Task Force was formed to propose recommendations for a Housing Strategy that will help achieve greater housing supply, affordability, and diversity over the next 10 years.

How to get involved:

  • Share your thoughts by April 30 for a chance to win one of four randomly drawn prizes for $100 grocery gift cards!
  • Visit saanich.ca/housing to take the survey, view the task force report, and find out about the project.

Phone: 250-475-5471
E-mail: planning@saanich.ca

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Bowker Creek: a primer

You may learn a lot about Bowker Creek, the major creek in our community’s watershed, from this article courtesy of the Bowker Creek Initiative.

Also see the Friends of Bowker Creek Society.

What about the name? The site for BC Geographical Names provides some history on that:

After John Silvester Bowker (1821 – 1898), one of the early settlers at Oak Bay. Born in Massachusetts, he came to BC in the 1850’s and spent some time in the Cariboo gold fields before turning to farming on the San Juan Islands; he would paddle across to Oak Bay to visit his friend, John Tod, who owned a large farm in the Willows area. Bowker married Tod’s daughter, Mary, in May 1864 and the newlyweds established the Bowker Farm on a portion of Tod’s property. Mary Tod Bowker lived on at the farm for some time after his death; she died in California in 1911.
SourceBC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC’s Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
The farm today would cover an area approximately from Bowker Creek to Bowker Avenue and from St. Anne’s Street to the waterfront; the original farm house is still standing on Bowker Place. Most of Bowker Creek is now in culverts (see Times Colonist 21 April 1982 for a description of its course.)
SourceBC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC’s Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
BC Geographical Names
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February 11, 2021 board minutes

The minutes of the February 11, 2021 meeting of the CCA board of directors may be found here.

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Saannich Planning Department and Integrity: the sad case of 1544 Christmas Ave.

A Saanich resident who lives in the neighbourhood of 1544 Christmas Ave. is taking the Saanich Planning Department to task, and for good reason. From 2012 until 2017, Saanich-led planning efforts identified the subject property as a target for acquistion to become a park.

The Shelbourne Valley Land Use and Urban Design Study and the draft Shelbourne Valley Action Plan included 1544 Christmas Ave. as planned park space. The final Shelbourne Valley Action Plan did not show this same intended park space, but the Saanich Planning Department stated at an open house event that they still intended to acquire the property for a park. Despite Planning Department words, and as a portent of what was to come, that final plan showed the property as a designated apartment space.

In 2018 the porperty was sold, purchased by a developer. Now that developer is applying for a rezoning and development permit for 1544 Christmas Ave.

If Saanich had no intention of acquiring this property, why did they not tell the truth instead of misleading stakeholders for 5 years until towards the end of the SVAP process when they stealthily changed the Park designation to Apartment? I want to suggest that it is still not too late for the Planning Department to please explain the rationale for their actions in disappearing not just 1544 Christmas Ave but also the other two proposed new parks.

A Park was promised at 1544 Christmas Ave and I urge the Mayor and Council to uphold the integrity of the District of Saanich by honouring this promise. Please reject this development application.

letter to Saanich Mayor and Council
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Lansdowne Middle School property: a new French school?

The Times Colonist‘s Jeff Bell has reported on the strong possibility of a new French school being built within the 10 hectare green space that makes up the playing fields next to Landsdowne Middle School.

The Conseil solaire[sic] francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) hopes to buy about three hectares of the 10-hectare Lansdowne site to provide a permanent location for l’École Beausoleil, home to 86 students from kindergarten to Grade 3.

The sale is contingent on public consultation by the Greater Victoria School District.

Times Colonist article

Please see the article on the Times Colonist website for full details. Or if you prefer, read the news at the website of Le Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique in both French and English.

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Housing Strategy Task Force: Final Report

The Saanich Housing Task Force has completed their report on Housing
Strategy and direction for Saanich
to expand housing options, increase
housing supply, and improve housing affordability.

Recommendations in the report will outline strategies and associated actions for implementation over a 10-year time frame and identify 3 year priority actions in each of the five focus areas.

excerpt from the task force’s terms of reference

Shown below are the list of top priorities as determined by the task force. Within the report, under each priority are grouped numerous recommended actions for Saanich to pursue.

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2859 Richmond Road virtual open house: March 10, 7 pm – 8 pm

The houses surrounding this proposed development will be receiving or have already received news of this event. For those outside the normal canvassing area but interested, here’s the info:

WhenWed, March 10, 2021 7:00pm – 8:00pm PST
WhereZoom virtual meeting
How to attendRSVP by
+ browse to www.urbanthrive.ca/lets-talk
+ email hello@urbanthrive.ca
+ phone 250-896-4667

From the event notice and invitation:

We’re planning new homes in your community and we’d love your feedback!

We are preparing a proposal for 9 car-free townhomes at 2859 Richmond Road. These homes are centred around making a sustainable mobility lifestyle – walking, transit and cycling – practical, convenient and fun. To our knowledge, this project will be the first of its kind in North America.

Car-free homes are fundamentally different from traditional car-orientated development. By removing car garages and drive aisles, we are able to provide more livable, sustainable and affordably priced housing that integrates seamlessly with the existing neighbourhood.

excerpt from invitation to 2859 Richmond Road virtual open house
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Queenston neighbourhood’s Little Free Food Pantry: now open

The Queenston neighbourhood’s Little Free Food Pantry is now open for use at the corner of Queenston and Townley Streets.

map showng where pantry lives
map courtesy of Apple Maps via duckduckgo.com

This community project has been set up in response to the food scarcity and insecurity challenges within our greater community. A neighbourhood resident has kindly offered to have the pantry placed on her property, 2810 Queenston St., which offers optimal visibility and pedestrian traffic.

The Little Free Food Pantry concept is similar to that of the Little Free Libraries you see around Victoria. Anyone is welcome to access the food pantry to “take what you need and give what you can”. Donations of non-perishable food items in their original sealed packaging are welcomed – simply place them in the pantry when you are out for a walk. A list of acceptable and recommended items is posted on the side of the pantry.

The Little Free Food Pantry concept is similar to that of the Little Free Libraries you see around Victoria. Anyone is welcome to access the food pantry to “take what you need and give what you can”. Donations of non-perishable food items in their original sealed packaging are welcomed – simply place them in the pantry when you are out for a walk. A list of acceptable and recommended items is posted on the side of the pantry.

Your individual food donations are welcomed, and you are encouraged to check for and take items that you may need. Please spread the good word about the Little Free Food Pantry to your neighbours!

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Please be a Friend to Bowker Creek

The Friends of Bowker Creek Society is seeking your help and support. Can you imagine seeing spawning salmon – chinook and chum – plus trout swimming through our Saanich neighbourhood? This is part of their long term vision to restore much of what urbanization has removed from this watershed.

Our purpose is to support the restoration and
enhancement of Bowker Creek and its watershed
to a healthy state, guided by the vision and goals
of the Bowker Creek Blueprint – a 100-year action plan
to restore the Bowker Creek Watershed.

FoBC information & membership pamphlet

Please review this FoBC pamphlet and get involved. A membership form is included, and tells you how you may support their efforts.

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