District of Sooke council dealt with the following issues at the regular council meeting on Feb. 12.
• Chris Corps, president of Sequel Integrated Resource Management, came before council looking for support for a proposal to build a $23-million Beecher Bay Zero Waste Project, a municipal solid waste gasification plant at Beecher Bay. The plant would produce no emissions.
The plant, if built, would process 62 dry tonnes per days of municipal solid waste and produce a total of 12MW electricity and heat. The project is expected to produce 27 direct and indirect long-term jobs from plant operations.
Council gave support in principle joining the adjacent communities and multiple bands across Lower Vancouver Island.
• Council agreed to be the fiscal host for the Sooke Region Food CHI as they apply for a $1,5000 ScottGRO1000 Community Garden Grant.
• Council authorized the issuance of a Development Variance Permit for 2554 Sooke River Road for a proposed subdivision to allow for a variance in the front lot line setback from 7.5m to 0m. The owner wishes to create two more lots.
• A Development Permit and Development Variance Permit will be issued to 6978 West Coast Road for the purpose of subdividing the property for up to 14 single family residential lots lot less than 350 sq. metres.
• Bylaw 504, Zoning Amendment Bylaw, 6826 Grant Road West, and Bylaw 505 for the same property. Staff was requesting the cancellation of the two bylaws, unless the owner was willing to pay the $1,200 fee for a second public hearing.
Discussion ensued on the reason for requesting Phased Development Agreements.
Councillor Herb Haldane took exception to the requests for PDAs stating they were supposed to be a “voluntary agreement” and said developers were being imposed fees, park dedications, and other amenities.
Mayor Wendal Milne countered by stating that he, “was not going to give the town away. The whole world should not go to developers and should not all be slanted to the person developing.”
Planner Gerard LeBlanc said the developer was asked to provide affordable housing but he applicant would like to contribute cash.
The proponent stated he found flaws in the PDA and was only looking for an extension. The bylaw had already gone to third reading.
The item was sent back to staff to report on what the proponent wants and to clarify the PDA.
Kennedy Street Closure/Opening:
Councillors Maja Tait and Herb Haldane left the council meeting as this item was brought forward, Tait stated she owns shares in Tim Hortons and Haldane owns part of the property where Tim Hortons has expressed interest.
Council recommended Kennedy Road South be reopened, stating this was to allow access to a landlocked tent lot property.
Earlier, at the public question portion of the meeting, Sooke resident Linda Batty asked council if council’s decision to reopen Kennedy Street was in any way related to the proposal to build a Tim Hortons on the adjacent property owned partly by Coun, Haldane.
“Is council supporting Tim Hortons on the adjoining property?” asked Batty.
Mayor Milne stated this was about the road closure and the landlocked property and is not subject to anything regarding Tim Hortons. He said the two issues came up at the same Land Use Committee meeting.
• Council gave preliminary approval of the 2013-2017 Five-Year Financial Plan.
Initially there was a proposed tax increase of 10.93 per cent, but through a list of adjustments on Jan. 8 the Finance and Administration Committee brought down the 3.25 per cent. With an estimated tax revenue from new construction the increase would be brought down to 0.73 per cent. It was then decided to place an additional $60,000 into the Capital Asset Replacement reserve to cover future capital expenditures and capital replacement, The tax increase is now projects to be 1.68 per cent for 2013.
• Council will consider the use of wood as an integral structure and architectural component for all construction and renovation projects of municipal structures within Sooke.