Saanich in the News Archive

    Information on this page is presented from associated websites and has not necessarily been reviewed or endorsed by the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs (CBA) board of directors.

    New garbage service began in April

    The new garbage service in Saanich started on April 1, 2014. New separate carts for garbage and for kitchen scraps were delivered to households in January and February. The carts belong to Saanich and are registered to each property.
    For full details from Saanich including contacts for any questions/concerns/comments you may have, click here.
    For a report in the Victoria News – click here.
    And another: Victoria News Feb 18, 2014 – click here.
    The latest, and most up-to-date report, is from the Victoria News March 29, 2014 – click here.

    2012 Citizens’ Survey Overview

    Now here are really interesting responses to a citizens’ survey carried out by Saanich recently. Take a look by: clicking here.

    Backyard chickens now allowed in Saanich

    Chickens are now allowed in residential areas of Saanich on lots 557 square metres/6,000 square feet or greater.
    There are rules and they are set out by Saanich on the link below – including registration of the chickens. Click here.


    Final Reading of the Animals Bylaw, 2004, Amendment Bylaw, 2011, No. 9122. To prohibit dogs on Cordova Bay Beach area between the southerly boundary of Cordova Bay Park and the northerly boundary of the Walema Avenue right-of-way during the months of May to August inclusive, except before 9:00 a.m. on any day.

    • Saanich staff are presently considering the installation of dog waste stations on Cordova Bay Beach.
    • Council has directed staff to review and install, as necessary, signage in Cordova Bay Park with respect to the amended regulation for dogs on Cordova Bay Beach.
    • It is the responsibility of dog owners to manage and clean up after their dogs on the beach.
    • It should be noted that the Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs conducted an objective survey to generate the results, in which 82 households participated.


    Cyclists have rights

    Cycling weather is here and it is time for cyclists and motorists to refresh themselves with the duties and rights of a cyclist.
    A person riding a bike on a highway (includes any road or street) has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.

    What does that mean for the cyclists? It means as a cyclist you must obey all the rules of the road just like a motorist. For example; you must stop at a stop sign or red light. You must not pass on the right and you must signal your lane changes. If you are involved in a collision with a pedestrian or car you must exchange personal information (remain at the scene and render care if needed).

    It is important for all road users to respect each other. Please watch for the unexpected.

    Visit Bike Sense on-line for a comprehensive look at cycling in BC. Information on the site will benefit all road users. Understanding how cyclists and drivers can share the road safely is the first step in preventing collisions and conflicts. Practise patience and awareness at all times.

    Police and bylaw enforcement set to change tactics

    Saanich Bylaw 7753, Section 27, Paragraph c, prohibits cycling on trails in Mount Douglas Park.

    Sec 27 (c): No person shall ride a bicycle in any of the following parks except in a parking lot or on a paved roadway or path: Mount Douglas Park, Knockan Hill Park, Mount Tolmie Park, Rithet’­s Bog Nature Sanctuary or Glencoe Cove Park.

    The fine is $50.00.

    Anyone who witnesses trail riding in any of the above listed Saanich parks can contact the Saanich police non-emergency number: 250-475-4321 or Saanich Bylaw at 250-475-1775.

    News on beach fires – Cordova Bay
    and Sayward beaches

    (Having confirmed earlier this year that: “Effective October 15, 2010 all beach fires within the Municipality will be restricted by permit to community beach fire pits only located at Cordova Bay Park, Agate Park, and Sayward Park”, the Saanich Fire Department has now altered its decision.

    On 29 October 2010, the following letter was sent to all Saanich community associations by the Fire Chief, Michael Burgess.

    The CBA board of directors would like to make it clear to residents of Cordova Bay that it did facilitate community feedback on this issue so that Saanich could make the final decision. The board of directors never did support fire pits – it SPECIFICALLY supported family beach fires, and was open to controlled and regulated beach fires.)

    “Further to my June 24th correspondence to you, I am providing this update on beach fires and the implementation strategies approved by the Public Safety and Emergency Planning Committee at its June 16, 2010 meeting.
    Consistent with the Committees recommendations, beach fire permits are no longer being issued for Telegraph Bay Beach. The response to this action appears well received by the immediate residents and is further supported by a significant decrease in complaints received, and responses to this location, by the Fire Department.
    The proposed amendment to the Fire Prevention Bylaw and the establishment of Community Beach Fire Pits at Cordova Bay and Sayward beaches is one that requires further consideration.
    Generally speaking the idea of dedicated beach fire pits has not been well received in the community. The Saanich Fire Prevention Division and Parks Department have consulted with many of the beachfront residents at Cordova Bay and Sayward beaches, in an effort to gauge public support for beach fire pits and their proposed locations. A number of site meetings were conducted where residents living in close proximity to the proposed fire pit sites expressed their concerns. As a result, a considerable amount of correspondence in opposition has been received by the Fire Department and Legislative Services.
    Residents’ concerns focused on having beach fires in dedicated pits at specific locations vs. the current practice of beach fires being at varied locations along the beach. The immediate residents adjacent to the proposed fire pit locations felt that they would be subject to continuous and concentrated beach fire smoke and related noise and activities.
    In light of residents’ concerns, the Fire Department has revisited the potential locations on Cordova Bay and Sayward beaches where beach fires can take place and which meet the required 45 meter setback identified in the Fire Prevention Bylaw. The result is such that there are no locations at Cordova Bay beach where fires can take place and meet the Bylaw setback requirement. Similarly, at Sayward beach there are only two very small areas that are in compliance with the Bylaw; however, both sites are in excess of one kilometre from the public beach access and would again impact the immediate residents. The alternative of reducing the existing 45 meter setback requirement identified in the Fire Prevention Bylaw has been considered and is not supported due to the increased fire hazard and associated liability.
    Given the lack of demonstrated neighbourhood support for community beach fire pits and the inability for beach fires to take place and meet existing Bylaw setback requirements without negatively impacting adjacent property owners, effective November 1, 2010, beach fire permits will no longer be issued.
    Michael Burgess
    Fire Chief”

    Help get rid of garlic mustard!

    The District of Saanich is asking the public to be on the look-out for a particularly nasty new invader. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an invasive plant from Europe, has devastated forests in eastern Canada. Some call it the new purple loosestrife. It is also a new invader to British Columbia, first reported on Vancouver Island in 2004. There are now a total of seven sites identified in Saanich and at least one in Victoria. Officials are asking for public assistance to respond rapidly to avoid widespread infestation such as has happened in Ontario, where it is out-competing plants in natural areas and completely taking over the understorey.

    Saanich Parks and Saanich Environmental Services are co-ordinating an Early Detection Rapid Response to garlic mustard. This involves responding to reports on public lands with trained staff to properly remove the plant, and notifying private landowners to remove the garlic mustard before it sets seed. They are requesting the assistance of the public to report any new sites and for volunteer efforts to help control and monitor current sites.

    So, it’­s garlic mustard blitz time in Mt Doug Park! Volunteers are needed. For more information, click on this link:

    Garlic mustard flowers in April and May, and a single plant produces hundreds of seeds in June and July. Because it is self-pollinating; a single seed can start a new invasion. This noxious invader also produces a toxin around its roots that kills soil fungi that are vital to the growth of other plants, making it a deadly neighbour.

    Saanich is working with other jurisdictions and the Coastal Invasive Plant Council to stop the spread of this species to other areas on Vancouver Island. Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to native ecosystems and biodiversity throughout the world. Invasive species can have severe ecological, economic and health impacts. Many species are inadvertently spread by humans and pets as well as escaping from gardens to natural areas. Controlling invasive species and their impacts requires partnerships throughout the community and neighbouring jurisdictions.


    Tree Preservation Bylaw – Summary

    As part of Saanich’s effort to provide better service to its customers one of Saanich Parks­ Arborists is now available at the hall to answer any and all tree related enquiries. Visit or call during the posted times if trees are the issue.

    Public inquiries pertaining to Tree Preservation on private property as well as requests for public tree work can still be made to the Parks office.

    The information provided below is a condensed summary of the full Tree Preservation Bylaw.

    Tree Info Line: 250-475-5522

    The Arborist Is In:
    10-11:30am, Monday to Friday
    Committe Room 4, 3rd Floor, Municipal Hall – local 3425

    Permit Applications & Info:
    Parks Office – Municipal Yard
    1040 McKenzie Avenue
    Phone: 250-475-5522

    Protected Trees

    The Bylaw prohibits the removal of Garry Oak, Arbutus, Pacific Dogwood and Pacific Yew over 5 metres (16.3 feet) in height or 10 centimetres (3.9 inches) or more in diameter, Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar over 60 centimetres (24 inches) in diameter, and any other tree over 80 centimetres (31.5 inches) in diameter including significant trees.

    The diameter of a tree is measured 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) above the ground. It can be determined by dividing the circumference by 3.142.

    Offence and Fines

    Tree damaging activities as defined in Section 9(a) of the Tree Preservation Bylaw are ticketing offences and subject to no less than a $100.00 fine for each tree. More serious damages or the removal of protected trees bring penalties of no less than $500.00 per tree for the first offence and $1,000.00 per tree for each subsequent offence.

    Pre-Permit Criteria

    Before you can receive a Permit as required by the Tree Preservation Bylaw No. 7632 you must meet minimum tree preservation criteria.

    THE PLAN AND INVENTORY All protected trees must be shown on a plan. The location of each tree must be accurately plotted showing the trunk diameter and Protected Root Zone (PRZ). An inventory list of the protected trees on the site is necessary to identify the trees covered by a permit. If there are more than four (4) trees present a separate sheet for the inventory should be provided. Inventories of four (4) trees or less may be listed on the plan. The inventory shall assign each protected tree a reference number that is to be shown on the plan and the inventory. The trunk diameter (accurate to 1 cm) and Protected Root Zone (PRZ) (accurate to .5 m) must also be shown.

    The diameter is determined by dividing trunk circumference at 1.4 m (4.5 feet) above the ground by 3.142. The PRZ is determined by multiplying the trunk diameter by 18. This calculates the radius of a circle around the trunk considered the treeís root area.

    Protective Fencing

    Sturdy reinforced snow or other substantial fencing must be placed around any protected tree on the development site. The fencing must be installed before your permit will be issued. The fencing must remain upright and intact as long as development occurs. The fencing shall be placed to the edge of the PRZ and staked to include the PRZ area inside the fenced area. If the protected root zone is inside the building envelope the fencing is to be installed along the building envelope line or the agreed upon construction zone line.

    Storage of Materials on Site

    All materials: Soil, fill, lumber, equipment, etc., that are to be stored on site must remain outside the PRZ and/or outside the protective fence area.

    Site Servicing Locations

    The in-ground site services must be located so as to minimize damage to protected trees. If no service access is possible without impacting protected trees then damage limiting techniques must be employed. In cases where removal if protected trees must occur to allow service installation, replacement trees may be required. A replacement tree bond is required to ensure tree planting will take place at a location on site with consultation with Parks Staff.


    Blasting causes more damage to trees than almost any other construction activity. An on site meeting with the blaster and owner/contractor must be arranged to appraise expected damage and discuss damage limiting techniques. This meeting must take place before a permit can be issued.

    Arborists’ Reports and Service

    A report from a certified arborist will be necessary if you wish to remove a protected tree due to conditions that are not obvious on a visual inspection. This would include estimation of critical root loss and assessing soundness of trees with visible defects. A certified arborist’s services will be required for tree pruning to clear for building envelope air space, utility line corridors and driveway access. Root pruning by a certified arborist prior to excavation will be required if a service trench or excavation is to be made in the protected root zone and conditions are determined unfavourable for preservation of the critical roots.

    Saanich Council Meeting Procedures

    What Happens at a Council Meeting

    Saanich’s Council Procedure Bylaw regulates the proceedings of Council particularly with respect to meeting procedures and is used as a reference document.

    Council presently meets Monday evenings and conducts the majority of its business as Committee of the Whole. The agenda format has the Council meeting first followed by the Committee of the Whole meeting.

    Decisions made in Committee of the Whole that require Council approval are normally ratified at the next Council meeting.

    In Camera meetings are normally held following Committee of the Whole. In Camera meetings are held in the absence of the public and generally deal with property transactions, personnel matters and legal matters as outlined in the Procedure Bylaw.

    Special Council meetings for the purposes of Public Hearings are held on Tuesday evenings and usually twice per month depending on the volume of applications.

    Amendments to the Zoning Bylaw and Official Community Plan, and proposed heritage designations are required to be considered at Public Hearings. Amendments to land use contracts and restrictive covenants are also sometimes considered at Public Hearings depending on the type of amendment and how the application was originally dealt with.

    Special Committee of the Whole meetings are occasionally held for matters that are controversial or will attract a large volume of speakers and are usually held on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

    With the exception of In Camera meetings, Council, Committee of the Whole, Special Council and Special Committee of the Whole meetings are open to the public. Except for Council meetings, members of the public have the opportunity for input on the various agenda items.

    How to Present an Issue to Council

    What To Do

    If you have an issue you wish to be considered by Council, submit a letter addressed to Mayor and Council outlining your concerns and either:

    Mail it to: Mayor and Council, 770 Vernon Avenue, Victoria BC V8X 2W7

    Or Email us at:

    Or Fax us at: 250-475-5440

    What Happens Next?

    Your request is forwarded to the appropriate department for a direct response to you or for a report to Council. If a report to Council is requested, the matter will be scheduled for consideration at a Committee of the Whole meeting once the report is received. The Municipal Clerkís Office will advise you when the meeting has been scheduled in order that you may attend and make representation to Council if you so wish.

    What is a Public Hearing?

    A Public Hearing is actually a special Council meeting and is Chaired by the Mayor or in his absence the Acting Mayor. A Public Hearing is required for Council consideration of amendments to the Zoning Bylaw, Official Community Plan and Land Use Contracts and prior to the adoption of a heritage designation bylaw. Where development permits, development variance permits or temporary commercial/industrial use permits accompany Zoning or OCP amendments the permits are also considered at a Public Hearing.

    Attending a Public Hearing

    Council welcomes your participation at Public Hearings. These Hearings are subject to some formal rules and procedures and the following information is intended to help you better understand the process.

    Who can speak at a Public Hearing?

    At a Public Hearing, any person present who believes that he or she is affected by a proposed bylaw and/or permit will be given an opportunity to speak or to present a written submission. You do not have to register to speak at a Public Hearing.

    What if I do not want to appear at the Public Hearing?

    If you do not wish to speak at the Hearing or simply cannot attend, you may submit a letter by mail, fax 250-475-5440 or e-mail. All correspondence received until 4:30pm the date of the Hearing will be provided to each member of Council.

    What will happen at the Public Hearing?

    1. The Municipal Clerk will introduce each item following which the Council will be given an opportunity to ask questions of staff. The applicant will then be asked to detail his or her proposal to Council and the public.
    2. Following the applicant’s presentation, a request for public input will be called a total of 3 times for those persons wishing to be heard either in favour or in opposition to the application. If you wish to speak on the item being considered, you will be asked to come to the microphone, state your name and address and then give your comments. Please be aware that inappropriate language, outbursts or criticisms aimed at individuals or groups will not be condoned. Once the call for public input has been given three times, no further input from the public can be considered.
    3. After all persons wishing to address Council have been heard, the applicant will be asked to respond to any questions, new information or factual matters raised.
    4. Once the applicant has been provided an opportunity to respond, the Public Hearing will be closed and Council will be asked to debate the matter. No further submissions or public input may be received by Council.
Letters to the Editor

You are always welcome to write to the CBA board of directors if you have a question or comment relevant to Cordova Bay. One of the directors will be pleased to respond. Please contact us by e-mail: We look forward to hearing from you.

Cordova Bay Road Sidewalk Improvement Plan

The following message is from Saanich Council Cordova Bay Road Improvement Project: Rambler Road to Walema Avenue Project Description:  The District of Saanich is undertaking an active transportation improvement project on […]

Read More