Keep Saanich Green!
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Saanich residents, we need your help to preserve natural green spaces in our neighbourhoods!
Saanich Mayor and Council seem to have forgotten that our unique natural environments and green spaces are a huge part of what make Saanich beautiful.
Saanich’s natural, green spaces are disappearing at an alarming rate as Saanich Mayor and Council prioritize rapid development while failing to preserve green spaces and natural environments. 95% of Garry Oak ecosystems in Saanich have already disappeared - from 3,473 hectares historically to192 hectares in 1997. Without protection for these ecosystems, we will lose more. Progressive cities prioritize both housing development AND the preservation of the natural environment as the population grows.
As Saanich responds to development pressures and rapid growth, we need to remind Saanich Mayor and Council that green spaces are important too.
Developers have already submitted proposals to build in areas that used to be protected - destroying Garry Oak ecosystems that offer beautiful green space in our community and provide a habitat to 100+ species at risk. Without rules in place to limit where developers can build, we’ll continue to lose Saanich’s natural environment and Saanich will change before our eyes.
Send Mayor and Council a strong message and commit to voting for candidates who will KEEP SAANICH GREEN in October’s municipal election on October 20, 2018. We need immediate, concrete action to preserve and protect our natural green spaces.
How can you help?
1. Commit to voting for candidates in Saanich’s municipal election on October 20th who will keep Saanich Green. We will be calling on candidates to demonstrate their commitment to preserving green spaces, biodiversity and endangered Garry Oak ecosystems prior to the election. There is strength in numbers, and only a few hundred votes can change the results of a municipal election.
2. Help build momentum by sharing this petition on social media with the hashtag #keepsaanichgreen. Tag 3 fellow nature lovers to join the petition as well.
2. SIGN THE PETITION and write a letter to Saanich Mayor and Council at firstname.lastname@example.org telling them you’re voting to keep Saanich green.
What does it mean to keep Saanich green?
Did you know that there are currently NO PROTECTIONS in place to protect sensitive and endangered ecosystems from development?
Currently, there are no protections in place to safeguard sensitive or endangered ecosystems from development, including the remaining 5% of Garry Oak ecosystems in Saanich.
Saanich Mayor and Council recently repealed the only environmental protections that were in place, the Environmental Development Permit Area (EDPA) bylaw. While many residents felt that the EDPA was deeply flawed, Saanich council repealed these protections and didn’t replace them with anything else! Mayor Atwell has stated it will take several years to develop new environmental protections which gives developers a huge window of opportunity!
Developers are acting fast to develop land with sensitive and endangered ecosystems, without waiting for Saanich to get it’s act together.
For example, a recent subdivision application in North Quadra by Kasapi Construction and Love Developments Inc will cut down 40 Garry Oak trees and replace a beautiful Garry Oak ecosystem with 12 lots for million-dollar homes. A biologist report shows that the area acts as a way-station for at-risk birds and other species on their way between Christmas Hill and Blenkinsop Lake. Eliminating just 5 of these lots would preserve the majority of the Garry Oak ecosystem! Development should not occur at the expense of endangered ecosystems.
Saanich council must take action now to protect sensitive natural spaces and quickly enact a process for reviewing and assessing development applications that considers and values natural environments.
Did you know that Saanich would rather take 5% cash from developers as a “community amenity” instead of accepting donated land that would preserve green spaces in our neighbourhoods?
Saanich Parks Department has been requesting 5% cash from developers to meet their “community amenity contribution” obligation, rather than accepting donations of land. Donated land would help preserve green space and endangered ecosystems in our neighbourhoods, while offering habitat for birds, bees, and animals. Instead Saanich wants the cash, which ends up in the general parks budget, rather than providing any benefit to the community where the development is built.
As Saanich and the whole region grows and expands, Saanich must act now to ensure that our few remaining green spaces are preserved. Tell Saanich Mayor and Council that you’re voting in the October 20th municipal election for candidates who will protect and preserve Saanich’s natural environments and KEEP SAANICH GREEN!
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