For immediate release
VICTORIA, B.C. – Capital Regional District (CRD) directors have been inundated with letters from outraged community members this week as the campaign for a moratorium on urban sprawl hits a critical stage. The flood of hundreds of letters to the board’s directors in less than 48 hours overwhelmed servers and temporarily crippled e-mail accounts.
The community members are outraged about a proposal to build nearly 300 homes on the Juan de Fuca trail and the rapid loss of farmland on the Saanich Peninsula. At a meeting on April 13, the CRD board will consider changing its voting structure to protect land on southern Vancouver Island from urban sprawl.
“This community’s response to the campaign for a moratorium on urban sprawl has been incredible,” said Gordon O’Connor, Vancouver Island campaigner for the Dogwood Initiative. “Building a 266-house subdivision along the Juan de Fuca trail is something that impacts everyone in the CRD and community members are doing everything possible to tell the directors not to let this happen.”
In addition to the letters, there have been large community meetings, hundreds of phone-calling actions, petition campaigns and protests. All of these events are calling on the board to declare a moratorium on all land-use changes until a regional sustainability strategy is complete and a process is developed to consult and accommodate First Nations.
“The CRD board needs to act now to stop real estate speculators from building subdivisions along the Juan de Fuca trail and across the region’s farmland, and to do this they need to hear from all of us,” O’Connor said.
The board is considering changing the voting system that gives decision-making authority over the Juan de Fuca resource lands to a five-person committee. In addition to shifting this power to the entire board of directors, the CRD is also investigating ways to make the Regional Growth Strategy more enforceable.
Vancouver Island Campaigner, Dogwood Initiative