Neigh­bour­hood plans guide de­vel­op­ment

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Re: “An in­de­pen­dent look would get projects off to bet­ter start: Helps,” June 13. Vic­to­ria Mayor Lisa Helps thinks a neu­tral third party might re­duce con­flicts over con­tentious de­vel­op­ments. Mike Miller of Ab­stract De­vel­op­ments is in favour of a mech­a­nism that would bring “con­sis­tency, predictability and fair­ness to the re­zon­ing/land de­vel­op­ment process.”

A for­mal neigh­bour­hood plan is meant to bring all those el­e­ments to de­vel­op­ment, in the minds of most peo­ple. If such plans were re­ally al­lowed to be the ba­sis for de­vel­op­ment, there would be no need for a third party. City coun­cil has con­trol over that.

As some­one cur­rently in­volved in help­ing to com­plete a neigh­bour­hood plan, I know that there is a lack of trust that the plan will re­ally mean any­thing in the end, and a feel­ing that we might be wast­ing our time.

De­vel­op­ers al­ways want more, with sev­eral vari­ances re­quested. They might ask for seven, but they will get the five they re­ally expect. A deal for them and in­creased frus­tra­tion for ev­ery­one in the neigh­bour­hood.

City coun­cil has con­trol over that, too.

I know some­one who has turned an anti large-de­vel­op­ment sign up­side down and af­fixed a white flag … mak­ing de­vel­op­ers happy, I sup­pose. Donna Jones Vic­to­ria

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