Vancouver Island seaside neighbourhood plans for next 20 to 30 years of development

2 open houses are being held for public feedback about the future of Cadboro Bay

Cadboro Bay is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Bright lights, big city Cadboro Bay is not, but a new neighbourhood plan could transform the Vancouver Island area.

The seaside community is known for its quiet, picturesque charms with just a handful of places to eat and a beachside park.

“We are proudly rural living in an urban setting but one of the things that we, like everyone else must do, is bring our area in line with the Saanich official community plan,” said Eric Dahli, chair of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association.

Saanich is updating the local area plans for a dozen communities in the region that will be used to help guide planning and development decisions over the next few decades.

The first of two open house events for the public to weigh in on the neighbourhood’s future is on Saturday afternoon.

“Our local area plan was last updated in 2002 and there are some changes that are required,” Dahli told Gregor Craigie, the host of CBC’s On The Island.

In particular, he said, issues like congestion in the village and the need for more sidewalks need to be addressed.

They have also had problems in Cadboro Bay park and had to close areas of the beach because of sewage overflows. Dahli said derelict boats in the bay are an ongoing problem too.

“We have been keeping an eye on all the concerns of our residents,” he said.

Natural disaster risks

Densification is always a hot topic and there are divided opinions about where to build new developments.

“People have a natural desire to be close to the water,” Dahli said. “With all the problems that we hear about with global warming and tsunamis, we don’t think that closer to the water is the place for higher density.”

He said the neighbourhood is hoping to work with Saanich and do some geotech work in order to find out the safest places to build in the future.

Saanich is holding two open houses: the first on Saturday, May 12 and one following on Monday, May 14 to gather community feedback.

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