Coun. Zac de Vries joined Mayor Fred Haynes in submitting a notice of motion asking Saanich staff to revise a bylaw critics say discriminates against students. (Saanich News/File)

Saanich to revisit ‘discriminatory’ occupancy bylaw

Seven students evicted this month based on the bylaw

Saanich is moving ahead with plans to amend a bylaw that led to the eviction of seven, unrelated university students.

Next month, council plans to debate a joint motion from Mayor Fred Haynes and Coun. Zac de Vries that would change provisions in Section 5.20 of Saanich’s zoning bylaw. It states that the number of “persons unrelated by blood or marriage” in a dwelling “including boarders, shall not exceed four.”

RELATED: Evicted UVic student questions Saanich’s housing bylaw

RELATED: Students struggling with Greater Victoria’s tight housing market

Saanich cited the section in evicting seven University of Victoria (UVic) students from a residence in the 1800 block of Teakwood Place near the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Gordon Head Road. They have until Jan. 31 to leave the house.

The public first heard of this issue when one of the students Emma Edmonds called the bylaw “discriminatory” in calling for its amendment. Edmonds, for her part, said that she was advocating for others, not for herself and her housemates.

“When students say to Saanich ‘we need affordable housing’, we are dismissed and given a reality check,” she said during an appearance before council earlier this month. Students are told to move elsewhere, while on the other hand, Saanich readily listens to non-students, who complain about students living in their neighbourhood, according to Edmonds.

This appeal found a receptive audience among members of council including Haynes and de Vries, whose notice of motion will appear on council’s desk Feb. 4.

Of the 18,000 undergraduate students that attend UVic, 78 per cent live off-campus. While some live with their parents or other family members, many are competing with other students and non-students for an increasingly shrinking supply of rental housing with several factors stacked against them.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Sooke woman is ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at Thetis Lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Victorian makes gridlock fun with traffic bingo

How far into your drive before you yell BINGO?

HarbourCats kick off preseason with free Fan Fest

Play catch with the players, meet Tally-Ho horses and discover this year’s new secret attraction

BC Ferries asks boaters to learn signals and be careful around ferries

BC Ferries responded to 15 marine emergencies in 2018

VIDEO: Journey of SD62 Aboriginal graduates recognized at ceremony

‘Enriching and empowering’ ceremony encourages students to hold onto their identities

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

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the Okanagan

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

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

Most Read