March 2021 Newsletter
Welcome to March 2021, and this marks the one-year anniversary of COVID in BC. I just learned yesterday that by late July all eligible adults should have access to the vaccine, so hang in there.
We are in the middle of budget season and because we are looking at relatively steep increases across the board, we have done our best trying to communicate what is happening and why. Here is a link to a great news release and here is a link to my FAQ on why our property taxes are going up and a link to why our utility bills are going up. You can also look at the budget presentation we did on Friday on the SCRD youtube channel (It gets rolling after a bit of a lame intro by yours truly).
Did you know that the average home in Roberts Creek is now worth $946,000? After Round 1 we are looking at $200 of property tax increases on the average home, and about $100 in your utility bills, with more on the way. Here is a link to the Round 2 budget agenda, happening this Thursday and Friday. I would appreciate any project specific feedback you can provide. Here is an interesting perspective from Donna McMahon why seniors who own property may not need to feel as concerned.
Affordable housing crisis
Mentioning average home values in the Creek, real estate on the Coast is going through the roof, thanks in large part to COVID. People are fleeing the city in droves and, with their new-found zooming lifestyle, are working remotely. This is great for property owners, developers, real estate agents and lawyers. This is awful for many of those that make the Sunshine Coast, and especially Roberts Creek, what it is – the artists, the creative lifeblood of our community. It hits the young people who can’t afford to buy, and can’t find affordable rental housing. It hits those that are working the essential jobs, like grocery store clerks, baristas, waiters and other service providers that simply can’t pay the rent anymore. It also hits seniors that are renting on a fixed income. We are woefully short on rental housing stock, especially in the 600-1200 square foot range. We lack facilities to take care of the most vulnerable. We don’t have housing stock for seniors to downsize from their large houses into something more manageable, all while staying in the community they love. For more information here is a link to the Sunshine Coast Housing needs report. We had a coast-wide meeting on March 1st to come up with an action plan, because this situation is becoming critical. We will have a board discussion on this and nothing is off the table at this point. OCP amendments, Bylaw 310 amendments, upzoning, having the SCRD become developers, etc. Stay tuned, because there is some momentum building here.
Why we may not need a new highway
Yes, I said it. Before you grab your pitchfork, hear me out. Because this is controversial and I’ll be asked why many times, I’ve endeavoured to write a little dissertation on my website.
Read it here.
That’s it from me for now. In case you have any questions or concerns, you can always email me.
This newsletter will also be published to my blog at https://andreastize.com