Letter to the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee

2011 March 03, by Chapter Council

The Victoria Chapter of the Council of Canadians is proud to stand with the Forest Action Network, The Wilderness Committee, The Dogwood Initiative, Elders of the Pacheedaht First Nation, the Jordan River Steering committee and concerned citizens of the greater Victoria area in opposing the rezoning of fragile forest land on the Juan de Fuca trail to build 250+ vacation homes. Here’s the text of a letter we will present at the Public hearing today in Sooke. Background on this issue can be found on our website.

The event is at Edward Milne School, 6218 Sooke Road, Sooke BC, tonight, March 3rd at 7 PM.

We urge you to use this form created by the Wilderness Committee to contact the decision makers in this important issue if you cannot make it to this event in person.

Letter to the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee

Dear Committee Members:

The Victoria Chapter of the Council of Canadians joins numerous local groups and concerned citizens including The Wilderness Committee, The Dogwood Initiative, Forest Action Network, Jordan River Steering Committee, and elders of the Pacheedaht Nation in opposing Marine Trail Holdings and Ender Ilkay’s rezoning request to build a sprawling vacation resort right on top of the Juan de Fuca Trail.

  1. We believe that this development goes against the regional growth strategy that CRD staff members have carefully developed after consultation with all stakeholders and the public. This, along with a few other recent decisions by municipalities appears to prioritise piecemeal and uncoordinated development over carefully planned, sustainable development.
  2. The Juan de Fuca trail is a regional jewel that brings a lot of attention and  tourists to the area because of its unspoiled natural beauty. This development, which could stretch over 12 km, and which will feature tree trims, septic fields, helipads, road expansion, and so many other disruptive elements will detract from the trail’s value.
  3. This development will encourage sprawl all the way from Sooke to Port Renfrew.
  4. This development will compete with, not increase existing tourism dollars. Many vacation properties in Sooke all the way to Port Renfrew are already suffering from lack of consistent occupancy. Where will this development leave them?
  5. There are many tracts of land in Port Renfrew already zoned for such development that are lying vacant due to lack of demand. Why encourage sprawl before these tracts are developed?
  6. This massive increase from 7 to 250+ “homes” in forested areas sets a dangerous precedent for the region where land meant for sustainable forestry is taken off the forestry licence without consultation and then developed.
  7. No independent economic analysis has been done for this project. All claims of jobs and revenue are from the developer, and have not been verified.
  8. This area is already challenged for fresh water in the summer. While the developer claims to setup rainwater harvesting, there is no data on the feasibility and scalability of any such endeavour.

There are many reasons to oppose this development, and we are confident you will do the right thing. We are attaching the many signatures we collected from people in the Greater Victoria Area who are very concerned about this development.

The board of the Council of Canadians, Victoria Chapter.

March 3, 7 pm at Edward Milne School, 6218 West Coast Road