Garden centre plan sprouts residents concerns

Parking, privacy and drainage among issues with Pure Elements Spa and Hair Salon proposal

Parking, privacy and drainage are three main concerns centering on a garden centre and greenhouse development proposed by Pure Elements Spa and Hair Salon on Goodmere Road.

Area residents who spoke during a District of Sooke council meeting on Monday evening warned the proposal could have negative implications on their neighbourhood.

“Parking down there is really a challenge,” said Cindy Heggelund, a Horne Road resident. “There’s always traffic on Murray Road. We really need to look at this carefully. It’s really a problem.”

Many parking concerns are generated from the use of the Rotary Pier and boardwalk and Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Murray Road.

Others cited concerns with flooding and privacy

The development proposal falls within existing municipal zoning, but Pure Elements Spa needs two variance permits for building setback relaxation for siting the new greenhouse and to the opposing side and rear yards. There are four parking stalls on site and two more are proposed.

Pure Elements Spa owners Gwen and Ed Fisher want to construct a storm water retention device that also serves as a deck and viewing platform and access pathway on the southwest corner of the property. There is also a plan to reuse some of the runoff stored in the tank for the greenhouse and site irrigation.

Pure Elements Spa has been in business for 10 years, but has not used its property to full potential, the Fisher’s said in a letter to council.

“We hope you support this business development, as it is a need in our community, non-obtrusive to neighbours, and keeps more people living and working in our community,” they wrote.

District councillors shared some concerns of residents.

“There are so many issues here,” said Coun. Kerrie Reay. “We need to do due diligence in what is going on in the area. I think it’s going to be a challenge when we already have a problem in the area.”

Coun. Bev Berger agreed with Reay and had concerns on some of the privacy issues, but Coun. Kevin Pearson felt the proponents were cognizant of the many issues surrounding the development.

“It’s a balancing act,” Pearson said. “Do the Fishers pay the price because of only one road in and one road out?

In the end, council directed municipal staff to have further discussions with the Fishers and neighbourhood residents. A report is due back later this month.