Victoria City Council’s recent decision on Missing Middle Housing has a lot of folks asking about Saanich’s plans for neighbourhood zoning.
I’ve been watching Victoria’s process closely, as there is much we can learn from our neighbours, who are entering into this transformative process ahead of Saanich.
In the coming months, Saanich staff will get started on a Neighbourhood Homes Study to look at a variety of options to create more family-suitable homes in Saanich neighbourhoods. These will be duplexes, triplexes and townhomes that are more attainably priced than single family homes.
The Study will include extensive public consultation so we can hear from folks about their desires for the future of our neighbourhoods and how we’ll create more duplexes, triplexes and townhomes in areas that have been traditionally zoned for single family homes.
Our Study is happening against the backdrop of legislative changes at the Provincial level that will revise residential zoning to allow for up to three homes on a single lot. With these coming changes, we have an opportunity to set the Saanich approach to those changes.
While Victoria is our neighbour, our process won’t be a cut and paste of theirs. Saanich needs its own approach: our geography and neighbourhoods are more spread out. The character of Saanich is also a wonderful blend between urban and rural that makes our home unique. It’s a priority for me that we protect rural and agricultural lands from becoming multi-family lots.
We can land on an approach that’s right for Saanich.
Affordability is, of course, top of mind for your council. We also know that this process isn’t a single solution to the affordability crisis we face. There is a lot of work ahead that is necessary to deliver truly affordable homes for people of all incomes. We are proactively developing partnerships with the Province and non-profit housing providers that will create more homes for more people at a price they can afford.
Together, we can create more attainable options for young families who want to put down roots in Saanich. Let’s seize the growing momentum in our region to create more housing options for older adults who want to downsize in the neighbourhoods where they’ve built a life.
Everyone should be able to find a home in Saanich regardless of income or stage of life.
The Neighbourhood Homes Study is important for our immediate future. I am happy it is getting underway and I encourage all Saanich residents to get involved in the process.