Editorial: Cutting timeline on seniors facility inadvisable if it means cutting corners

So which part of the red tape would you like officials to cut out, exactly?

Application process for new care facility may take longer than anticipated. (Submitted graphic)

Application process for new care facility may take longer than anticipated. (Submitted graphic)

So which part of the red tape would you like officials to cut out, exactly?

Our front page headline in our Dec. 1 edition was about a new 88-bed residential care facility that’s going to be built in Duncan.

This facility sounds like it will be a welcome addition to the community. There’s an ongoing need for more seniors beds (though at some point we, as a society, are going to have to have a serious discussion over the low wages and often difficult conditions for the workers that staff these facilities, and we think with the baby boomers getting older that discussion is coming sooner rather than later).

But soon came a caution from the Municipality of North Cowichan that the timeline put forth by Island Health that would see shovels in the ground by March of 2018 may not be entirely realistic.

It normally takes six to 12 months for a rezoning.

Immediately, some attacked the municipality for, as they see it, standing in the way of what the community needs. But such a knee-jerk reaction deserves a careful second look.

How would you like officials to shorten the timeline to four months instead of six? Cut out the public consultation (we can only imagine the outcry, with good cause, from neighbours)? Waive building plans and engineering studies? Let them jump the queue, pushing back other projects? Which ones?

It’s not as easy as it might sound. Especially since there are a lot of building projects on the go in North Cowichan right now so the planning department over at municipal hall is busy.

We certainly think the project deserves to be put through in all due haste, but we don’t want to see corners cut that come back to bite us all later.

Sometimes the wheels seem to turn slowly, but sometimes there’s a good reason for that.