In support of development moratorium in Quamichan
I am writing in support of Councillor Justice’s motion, (to be presented — again — at the Jan. 15 council meeting), specifically in its reconsideration of the location of the urban containment boundary in the Quamichan watershed. It is an important first step in reducing suburban sprawl, preserving rural character, employing the principles of Smart Growth and mitigating and adapting to climate change in the Quamichan neighbourhood.
The current location of the UCB in proximity to Quamichan Lake was established without a full review of the implications of its placement and without any analysis of the carrying capacity of the lands within it. The impacts of increases in traffic, further pollution of Quamichan Lake, habitat and biodiversity destruction, further reduction of the endangered Garry oak ecosystem, and limitations on our water supply cannot be ignored. Our new OCP must anticipate that we will be able to amend these weaknesses so that we can align our policies with contemporary community planning as we anticipate change and/or growth.
As Councillor Justice’s motion proposes, in order to properly facilitate our community’s anticipated growth, guided by the principles of Smart Growth, we must focus development in proximity to our existing core services, in Chemainus and Crofton and from Duncan west to Berkey’s Corner. An important element of Smart Growth is walkability, which must become a key consideration of our future land-use planning. The arguments for walkability are many and may be viewed in terms of benefits in economics, health, climate adaptation, social equity and community.
How our new OCP will evolve over the coming months will depend in large measure on the skills and knowledge of the consultant MNC engages to work with the community. The adoption of this motion will establish a clear set of principles to guide the work ahead both for the community and for the consultants.