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LETTER: Swan Lake development raises host of concerns

When there are over nine hours of public appearances and reams of correspondence for a public hearing on a proposed development in the Swan Lake area, there must be a valid reason. The overwhelming majority of local residents rejected the proposal as presented.

It was impressive to hear the articulate presentations and to read the correspondence received, which were of high calibre, contained well-researched data and analyses from a group of people passionate about conservation of the Swan Lake and Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary and their community, on behalf of all Greater Victoria residents. They had spent considerable time and energy to present their many concerns to Saanich council.

Density, traffic issues, removal of virtually all trees, a sensitive ecosystem, a sanctuary watershed and the lack of either an environmental or hydrological assessments in a neighborhood subject to flooding, all caused many concerns. The stark reminder of the lack of an EDPA (Environmental Development Permit Area) bylaw which was rescinded in 2018 was raised.

Also mentioned was publicly available information (source: Elections BC Financial Reports) regarding donations by developers as individuals to prospective candidates in the recent B.C. local elections.

In conclusion, I ask that the wishes of the residents of the Swan Lake neighborhood be respected and a more suitable design be proposed, simultaneously considering an application on the adjacent three-lot site on McKenzie, under the same ownership. All of the identical issues of concern will apply while compounding negative effects.

Fiona Millard


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