CRD overreaching in JDF lands

At the March 23 meeting of its planning committee, the Capital Regional District declared war on the residents of the JDF electoral area and its elected representative, Mike Hicks.

After a closed door meeting, the CRD has decided to press forward to give themselves additional powers and sole jurisdiction over rural lands in the EA.

They are playing with fire. The immediate cause of this unprecedented power grab is the proposal to develop some recreational properties adjacent to the Juan de Fuca provincial park.

Let’s remember the owner of this private property has extensive rights under the existing zoning to harvest timber up to the edge of his property, develop a lucrative gravel pit and shut off the part of the JDF trail that goes through his land. I do not see this happening but it would be perfectly legal.

Why is the CRD doing this given its disastrous track record in litigation? They say it is “to protect the regional growth strategy.”

Here is Darlene Marzari, Ministry of Municipal Affairs introducing the legislation in 1995: “This planning process stays away from zoning. A growth strategy is a regional vision. Regional districts will not be involved in the review of individual rezoning applications. It is not the business of regional districts to get involved with the basic mandate of municipal government, which is land use planning.” Hansard, April 27, 1995.

At the request of the CRD, two committees were established to make land use decisions in unincorporated areas.

In our case, the committee is made up of the mayors of Metchosin, Langford, Colwood, Sooke and our regional director. Now the CRD wants to call all the shots.

This is a clear case of not liking the outcomes and wanting to change the rules.

In the case of the Ender Ilkey property, the CRD senior staff have repeatedly said it is consistent with the RGS.

At the end of the day, this is about taking away the right of local residents to control their communities.

War may have been declared. But it isn’t over, not by a long shot.

Al Jones

East Sooke

President, Landowners Association of B.C.


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