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Letter To North Cowichan On Sprawl & Climate Plans

January 12, 2020


Dear Mayor and Council:

We would like to share some comments for your consideration related to both the staff report on Councillor Justice’s motion on curbing sprawl and the staff report on the Integrated Climate Action Plan. We see these as highly related.

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North Cowichan Considers Tapping Brakes On Sprawl

Probably the worst urban sprawl in the Cowichan Valley can be found under construction within the boundaries of North Cowichan, along the road to Maple Bay. This sprawl is taking place within existing policy, even within what’s known as “urban containment boundaries,” which are anything but.

Such sprawl is the biggest local driver of new emissions at a time when we need to dramatically cut them. Such sprawl is also the costliest type of development to municipalities – the opposite of what’s needed to address the affordable housing crisis.

Last week an attempt was made to have North Cowichan council rein in the approval of even more sprawl. It fell short.

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What just happened? Last evening the CVRD voted to join hundreds of local governments across the country in acknowledging the climate emergency. This is good.

But unlike other local governments, it punted the conversation about acting on that statement to a process with no timelines and no clear sense of products – voting instead to send the conversation to the CVRD’s strategic planning process. This is concerning.

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