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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