A former regional director for the District of Lantzville wants to be on the next council.
Ian Savage, who served one term as Lantzville’s regional director beginning in 1998, is hoping to become a member of Lantzville council. He is vying for a seat against nine other candidates.
Savage told the News Bulletin he wants to be a part of the next council because Lantzville is entering a period of significant change.
“With all the development waiting in the wings, this is an important election to the determine the future of Lantzville,” he said. “We can either follow the new community plan with moderate development or we can go with those who want to remove the density guidelines and allow far more development and less green space.”
Savage, a former educator, said he wants to adopt the official community plan, which is currently being reviewed by provincial agencies, as is.
“I support the consensus of residents, which is to go with our new community plan, and I am excited about it. It encourages green principles, innovative technologies, unique architecture, lots of public green space, seniors’ cottages and so on. It really gives us a chance to be a trend-setting community,” he said. “It’s very common to have density guidelines and green space guidelines in community plans.”
B.C. is lagging “well behind” other areas of the world in innovation, according to Savage.
“We can develop green space and architecture to the highest standards, the possibilities are great and we have somewhat of a blank slate because of the large properties,” he said. “We really have an opportunity to do the latest and best when it comes to development.”
During the CruisePlus rezoning process earlier this year, Savage was clear about his opposition to the project.
“This proposal was not in keeping with the village plan report, it wasn’t in keeping with the spirit of the 2005 official community plan,” he said. “I am all for improvements in the village but it is important to follow a plan.”
Priorities for Savage include providing water to those who need it and ensuring there are a variety of housing choices in the community. He would like to see walkways, green spaces, and street furniture as well as a community garden.
“They’ve been very successful elsewhere,” he said. “With community greenhouses it allows for socializing and gathering in the cooler months for growing and there is possibility of having those in the village because a lot of people are saying they want to improve the village.
Savage said he’d like to see “some support for teenagers” in Lantzville by creating gathering places for them in an effort to “protect them” from drinking and driving. He is also in favour of seeing Lantzville host a music festival or concert series.
“There are so many good musicians in Lantzville, we should have a set weekend each summer to showcase their talents. You could have busking in the village and at the beach; this would be a good draw for visitors,” he said.
In addition to his regional political experience, Savage has served on numerous committees including the incorporation committee, village improvement committee and most recently he was the alternate chair for the official community plan committee. He also quarterbacked an effort to have a high-tech bus stop installed along Lantzville Road in the village core. The bus stop is currently under construction.
Savage said his experience as a regional director and being on committees has taught him the importance of listening to others, researching issues and making informed decisions.
“It is very important to consider resident input,” he said. “I learned it’s very important to balance interests. It’s like a mutual fund, the more opinions you get, the better,” he said. “I learned that knowledge and research is a great advantage to making decisions.”
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