Central Saanich Co-op Dispute Settled by Arbitrator
Aug 10, 2012The arbitrator selected the Capital Region’s proposal to leave the existing Regional Context Statement (RCS) unchanged. The decision will not allow the District of Central Saanich to amend their RCS or zoning bylaw to permit the development.
“We are relieved that the planning policy and legislative framework that the CRD and Board operate under has been respected,” says CRD Board Chair, Geoff Young.
The proposal would have allowed for the development of a 40,000 sq. ft. grocery store with office space at the corner of Keating Cross and West Saanich Roads, an area not designated for this type of use. The proposed amendments to the Central Saanich RCS would not be consistent with their Official Community Plan (OCP) or the Regional Growth Strategy over time.
Based on legislative authority and the policy framework in the Regional Growth Strategy, the CRD Board rejected the proposed RCS amendment in August 2011. In April 2012, the Board confirmed its original decision. The Board and Central Saanich agreed to use the Final Proposal Arbitration process to settle the dispute. By June, the arbitrator was appointed. As part of the process, municipalities were invited to participate. North Saanich was the only other municipality to participate in the dispute resolution. Proposals to the arbitrator were submitted by the CRD and the District of Central Saanich, each expressing its position on the matter. North Saanich supported the position of Central Saanich that the proposed RCS amendment be accepted by the arbitrator.
“In our view, had the arbitrator selected the Central Saanich proposal, the message would be that municipalities can skirt the Regional Growth Strategy and even their own established planning policies,” said Geoff Young.
The arbitrator is not required to give reasons for his decision, but the resolution is binding on the CRD and all municipalities. For further information visit: www.crd.bc.ca/regionalplanning/growth