Development moratorium could halt urban sprawl

Urban sprawl is the single biggest local climate issue.

Development moratorium could halt urban sprawl

There is a strange disconnect between two pieces that ran in the same issue of the Citizen. The first one rightly asks whether the tragic fires in Australia will galvanize the world into action on the climate crisis. But the second then criticizes North Cowichan for considering putting the brakes on urban sprawl.

Urban sprawl is the single biggest local climate issue. The CVRD estimates that 72 per cent of our emissions come from transportation, and that’s because we take 90 per cent of our trips in personal vehicles — and more accurately mostly in SUVs and trucks given current consumer preferences.

These stats are driven by our urban form, and by the fact that successive councils have approved developments where residents really have no good choice other than to get in their vehicles to do anything. The building now underway towards Maple Bay is a good example of this.

The North Cowichan proposal would limit new approvals of such sprawl until a new OCP is done. North Cowichan recently acknowledged the climate emergency, and such a measure is entirely consistent with that acknowledgement.

The answer to both the climate crisis and the affordable housing crisis is for local governments to prioritize multi-story developments as close to services as possible and to end sprawl entirely. That also happens to be a more fiscally responsible option since sprawl costs the most to service.

Valerie Russell

North Cowichan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parkside Academy future unclear as district ponders future of Somenos school site

Parkside had been leasing the site for the last five years

Andrea Rondeau column: Saying goodbye to longtime colleague and friend Lexi Bainas

Lexi started in the news business going to work for The Lake News in October of 1979.

Sarah Simpson Column: Goodbye coworker, hello family!

It’s not unheard-of for many of us to have friends that become… Continue reading

Traffic delays expected on the Malahat as sky-walk construction begins

No delays during the day as work planned for evenings

Cowichan wrestler brings home the champion’s belt

Talon Hird leads club to dominance in Campbell River

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read