LETTER: Sooke council undermining its downtown plan

How will we realize our pedestrian friendly waterfront with public officials continuing to work against it? asks letter-writer

How will we realize our pedestrian friendly waterfront with public officials continuing to work against it?

Regarding the District of Sooke’s rezoning application for the proposed new library.

This is an except from the application: “Rezoning this property to CTC will position the District of Sooke for many opportunities to redevelop and energize the north end of the Town Centre.”

It appears the district will be undermining their own downtown plan by trying to direct development to the north of town because it owns property in the area.

Below is the main recommendation of Sooke’s downtown plan: “Land use recommendations: The fundamental guiding recommendation of this town centre plan is to transform the area south of Sooke Road and develop around a new ‘main street’ (Waterview Street) that will visually and physically link Sooke Road to the waterfront.”

Certainly this is not a level playing field and taxpayers are being affected.

I recently underwent a rezoning on my property to CTC. It took over a year and had substantial costs associated with it. Now, the District of Sooke is trying to rezone 6671 Wadams Way at taxpayers expense to compete with the public with total disregard for the downtown plan.

The last time they did this, property was rezoned to accommodate a hotel outside of the town center. Totally ignoring the plan that we, the public, paid more than $100,000 for, with disastrous results. The development of the waterfront town center has been dormant ever since.

No one can compete with the district if they can continue to buy cheap land, knowing they can rezone it at will. A rezone to CTC is inappropriate and just plain bad planning. Competing with the taxpayers for commercial and high density residential is detrimental to our town.

The potential Library set to be built on this property needs only an institutional zoning (P2), which would also allow for a hospital or medical center and senior’s center or affordable housing that would continue benefit this community.

Jeff Zigay

Sooke

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