Case Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA), questions Saanich’s commitment towards affordable housing, while warning of a changing climate in the construction industry. (Black Press File).

Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

VRBA director Casey Edge also questions Saanich’s commitment towards housing affordability

The head of the association representing Greater Victoria builders wonders whether Saanich is serious about creating more affordable housing.

“Saanich’s claims of support for housing affordability require more credibility than have been apparent so far,” said Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA).

RELATED: Head of Greater Victoria builders critical of stricter climate policy

He offered this assessment against the backdrop of several policy initiatives working their way through municipal channels.

He sounds especially concerned about plans by Coun. Nathalie Chambers, who has proposed several interim measures to protect trees in Saanich that might otherwise be vulnerable without an environmental development bylaw in place.

On Monday, Saanich council will consider a report and suggestion from Chambers to have staff look at an “immediate implementation of a conservation strategy that would protect the same ecosystem assets as the environmental development permit area bylaw.”

Edge questions this idea. Saanich already has tree protection bylaw, he said, noting Chambers’ strategy would duplicate what he calls the “costly and poorly conceived [Environmental Development Permit Area] bylaw.”

Saanich council rescinded the EDPA in late 2017, only five years after its creation. (Its formal rescinding took place in April 2018).

Chambers for her part said she is not trying to replace the EDPA bylaw, but is instead looking for a series of interim measures.

RELATED: Saanich hears mixed reviews about new voluntary building code

Edge also reiterated his group’s opposition to Saanich’s pending introduction of the Step Code, a new voluntary building code that promises to improve energy efficiency. He also questions why Saanich considers raising development cost charges for a single detached home to $16,360, a 240 per cent increase or $11,551 extra.

Edge’s critique of Saanich happens against the backdrop of a changing climate for the construction industry.

Edge said a recent presentation from leading figures in the real estate industry reached the conclusion that the “market is undergoing moderation” that is going to shape the decisions of local builders.

“With peak land costs, declining sales, challenging and costly permit processes, and rising [government] fees, we are in a very risky environment for [speculative] home building,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Langford trucks vandalized for third time in five months

Staff member spends weekend washing after six trucks hit with graffiti

Oak Bay dog walk benefits guide dogs

Two more walks set for Sunday in Victoria and Colwood

Police stay quiet on downtown fire investigation

The fire at Victoria’s Plaza Hotel was deemed suspicious on May 14

Former Saanich councillor joins Cordova Bay community association board

Leif Wergeland served on Saanich council for 22 years before retiring from politics in 2018

Coastline serves up a feast of fiddlers in Oak Bay

Local Juno Award winner musical director for ensemble

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Young man on Vancouver Island dies after losing control of ATV

Crash claimed the life of a 23-year-old south of Nanaimo over the long weekend

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Most Read