Friday, April 24, 2009

Protecting the Wilderness needs an Amalgamated City

There has been comment recently about land-use decisions being one of the greatest challenges facing southern Vancouver Island. The focus is now on the Western Forest Products lands. The debate over a marina in the Inner Harbor is similar. Previously, issues have been raised over development in areas such as Bear Mountain.

The reality is that a more focused municipal government would be in a much better position to resolve land use issues for us all.

I wonder if Bear Mountain would have been developed if the population of Victoria and Saanich had a say? Perhaps they would have said we do not want that development, we would rather have green space and wilderness close to home so we can enjoy it. The same goes for the lands of Western Forest Products. Do the citizens of our city want more development or wilderness they can access? If we were all in this together we could plan logically.

Remember when Costco was looking for a place to build? They went to a number of different municipalities, spent time investigating land and options, only to find that the municipality would not approve it. I am not saying we should have a Costco or not, however, they should have been able to determine what areas if any, were proper to pursue without a lot of trial and error.

A City, concerned for all its citizens could enforce a logical plan which would provide for areas of industry, retail and recreation that benefit the whole, not just a small area.

Residents in all the CRD should have a say in what happens in the Inner Harbor, it is there for all of us. You all use it or benefit from it. The people that might enjoy a nearby wilderness experience are likely living in Oak Bay. They may be prepared to pay for that opportunity through restrictions on the development of the wilderness. Or they may wish to have the costs of urban living shared by a greater population.

We live in such a small area that these issues, which clearly impact more than the current local municipalities, would benefit from an amalgamated region.

2 comments:

South Island said...

Just a couple of thoughts on your new blog, which I enjoy reading so please consider this as constructive criticism:

1) Perhaps you can change the background colour to something other than bright green, and add an image or two. Otherwise it just looks like a copycat (style wise) of another well known Victoria blog. I know the blog is provided for free, but if you are going to do it you may as well make it look good.

2) You will have more responses if you attempt to engage the reader at the end of each post, instead of summarizing your case for amalgamation. Ask your readers, "What do you think?" "What's your opinion?" Etc.

3) It wouldn't hurt to add a blog roll on the right hand side. These blogs will often add reciprocal links, which drives traffic to your site.

4) Why are you writing this blog? It wouldn't hurt to explain that in the "About Me" section. My assumption is that this blog is a precursor to a run for political office. That may not be the case, but I can only make an assumption unless you put an explanation somewhere on your blog.

I like your writing and I am a big supporter of amalgamation, so good luck and please keep writing.

Dave

James Legh said...

Thank you for the comments. Just for the record, I am not running for political office, just hope to encourage others with this objective to do so.

James