Municipal democracy suffering in Colwood

Council needs to look at a review of its official community plan

Following the recent public hearing around the proposed development proximate to Metchosin and Painter roads, I have some suggestions and concerns with the process of community engagement.

This should interest all Colwood residents, as other neighbourhoods can and will face the same dilemma: How do councillors make decisions which balance the needs, rights and experience of existing residents with a desire to develop our community to a highest and best possible use condition? What is “best” and for whom?

I cannot point to a single change in perspective or design on the part of the land-use subcommittee, council or staff since I have been following the proceedings. A staff member and council member have each told me that they “like this sort of thing in their home neighbourhood.” Well good for you, but this is our neighbourhood.

On one occasion I attempted to convene public meetings where some real conversation could occur. My proposal was refused by all parties except local residents. Staff said they were legally restricted by municipal legislation and the B.C. Community Charter. Only two councillors actually met with residents and only one in a meaningful way. Is this truly the state of municipal democracy?

I think council needs to commence a review of the official community plan. In the process, community members need to participate; I am ashamed to say I only attended one charrette leading up to the promulgation of the current OCP. We need to invest in local democracy long before we are directly affected, positively or negatively.

I further invite councillors to state publicly their approach to development in Colwood. One year into your mandate is a great time to tell residents what you see and believe. Otherwise I can only assume that intensive development along Latoria, Wishart, Metchosin and Lagoon roads, among others, is the new norm and the only way forward.

Ken Gray

Colwood

Just Posted

Grass fire on Henlyn Drive sees quick response from Sooke Fire Rescue

An early afternoon grass fire at the north end of Henlyn Drive… Continue reading

Staff recommend major boost to Langford council pay

After 13 years without an increase, mayor’s pay would double over next five years

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Plans for Colwood’s Royal Beach property moving forward

Seacliff Properties to hold open house on June 25

Victoria couple seeks community’s help after e-bike stolen for second time

Voltbike stolen from parking garage on Quadra Street

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

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

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Island community

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

Most Read