The five-year moratorium on new development north of the TransCanada Highway and the unfinished Spencer Interchange is history. On Monday, December 20, city council scrapped policies that were intended to halt new residential construction until the interchange is finished. Increasing traffic congestion on Millstream Road was the reason for imposing the moratorium in 2005.
For your convenience, today's WTF? commentary is composed entirely of footnotes. From the Goldstream Gazette:
Even if rezoning applications start rolling in now,1 high-density property developments wouldn’t start adding cars to the congestion for two or three years,2 [Mayor Stew] Young surmised, buying the City time to build a pool of money,3 while securing grants from senior governments.4 Young expects to raise $4 or $5 million from amenity fees in the next two or three years.5“We figure we have at least two and a half years before feeling the impact of lifting the moratorium,"6 Young said. “Once a plan is in place, we can move forward and apply for (federal and provincial) grants.”7
1 Whose rezoning applications? Bear Mountain Resort and South Skirt Mountain Village already have zoning in place.
2 Don't worry about the hundreds of dump trucks, bulldozers, earth-movers, cranes, and contractors coming and going during the years of construction. They won't add to the traffic problem.
3 A shallow pool in an ocean of debt (see notes 1 and 5).
4 Wrong. Spencer Interchange is privately-funded and doesn't qualify for grants from provincial and federal taxes. Way back in 2008, Langford council passed a bylaw to borrow $10 million on behalf of Bear Mountain and South Skirt Mountain, over the objections of more than 2200 citizens. It's now council's responsibility to get the loan paid off. A federal bailout sounds like great idea, but the city is not permitted to download the debt onto taxpayers who had no say in electing them. Oops.
5 The interchange is expected to cost around $32 million.
6 In two or three years, Millstream could have gridlock for hours every day.
7 See note 4.
Remember: You're paying for the Bridge to Nowhere!