Further to our letter of March 8, 2020, the DRA LUC provides the following information as an update. Since our last submission, the applicant increased the proposed height and density, requiring additional OCP amendments that, in turn, triggered additional public consultation process. The DRA LUC facilitated the community feedback period from May 25 to June 25 2021 for these amendments to the original application. 201 responses from the public were received either by email or as feedback via the Development Tracker. The public feedback was overwhelmingly opposed to the project. An analysis of the feedback highlights that 80% of the community responding opposes the project as proposed, 12% support the project but are not from the community (as close as Saanich and as far as Vancouver) and only 8% of local respondents support the Starlight project as proposed.
Most of the points raised in our letter of March 8, 2020 regarding rezoning of the London Drugs site without a concurrent development permit remain valid concerns. The impact of this proposal is far too significant for it to proceed to the granting of irrevocable development rights simply on the basis of the general concept presented to the community. This project is too important to the future of Harris Green and the liveability of the community to rezone almost five acres of land as one application.
If it’s intended that this project will be built over three phases, we recommend that the rezoning occur over three separate applications. Although a concept presentation is welcome as part of early public consultation, it cannot be considered as fulfilling the required and necessary public engagement expected for a project of this magnitude, especially when it so significantly exceeds the OCP. This development will be the largest and most impactful development undertaken in this city in decades.
History of development has largely shown that massive attempts such as this are dismal failures in improving the urban fabric, providing humane and enjoyable housing and (in particular) providing real public amenities for cities in exchange for the significant granting of excessive development rights. It is plainly apparent from the community feedback, that residents have legitimate concerns which have yet to be addressed by the applicant. The DRA LUC feels that this application is not ready to proceed to public hearing, and that Council pushing it forward in the face of these concerns will not serve the public interest.
Click below to download the full letter, which includes a summary of the comments from the 201 public responses received and by members of the CALUC.