Development and Land Use

(Or what to do when the big white sign goes up.)


One of our roles as Community Association is monitoring applications for subdivisions and rezoning in our neighbourhood. We recognize that Gordon Head, like any other neighbourhood, will change and grow over time. We also recognize that the social, economic and political factors that drive these changes evolve as well.

We believe that there is a need to guide these changes so that the community develops in a way that is compatible with the needs and values of its residents.


Major Changes

A Property owner who wants to rezone a property to allow additional houses or to change the use of the property must go through several steps. Most major developments are discussed with Saanich Planning staff long before they become public knowledge. As part of these discussions, the GHRA is usually involved on an informal basis. 

When the proposal goes to Saanich Planning, the developer is told that all neighbours within 50m of the property must be consulted on the development. It is at this stage a large white sign is placed on the property and it is listed on the Saanich Website  HERE   .Our role is to ensure that all neighbours who will be affected by the proje
ct have the opportunity to find out what is proposed and to voice any concerns that they may have. The Association will assist residents in making their wishes known to Saanich Council.

Once the developer presents Planning with a formal proposal for a major change in land use, municipal staff prepare a report on the proposal. The GHRA is asked if there is any objections to the proposal or if there are conditions that should be attached to the approval of the project. This report goes to Saanich Council and comments from the community are heard at this time.

When Council asks for our position on a specific project, we will respond by specifying the factors important to the community that need to be taken in to consideration by Council as it makes its decision.

We are fortunate that Saanich Council does consider the wishes of the community and that neighbours can have their voices heard on development issues.

If you have concerns about a development project that is proposed for your area, please get in touch with the GHRA.

If Council decides that the proposal should proceed, it is sent to a Public Hearing where there is further opportunity to hear from the community. At this time conditions for approval or covenants may be attached to the proposal and if it is passed by a vote of Council a formal bylaw is prepared which will be again voted on at a future meeting of Saanich Council.

Subdivisions and other Buildings

Simple Subdivision of lots that do not require rezoning or variances are approved by the Saanich Subdivision Officer and do not go to Council. Neighbours adjacent to such a subdivision and the GHRA are informed of the proposal and are given an opportunity to make submissions to the Official.

A property owner who wishes to develop a lot in accordance with the existing zoning does not need to advertise or get approval of council. Approval of any buildings on such a lot will rest with Saanich building inspectors who must approve of the plans for the structures and ensure that they comply with the requirements of the building code and zoning bylaws.