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Mayor irate over decision made in his absence

Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne - File
Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne
— image credit: File

Mayor Wendal Milne said that as elected officials there are only one or two things in life they have and that is integrity, the perception of honesty and being up front with people. He said this in response to rezoning of properties for waste transfer stations.

At issue are properties on Idlemore Road where transfer stations are being operated without proper zoning and without proper process.

He said he was approached in January by representatives of Dale Arden who wanted to put in a transfer station on the property he owns on Idlemore Road. Milne said he told him “no” as the property was not zoned for it.

“This thing stinks,” he said referring to how the business got approval and was up and running by the time he returned from holidays.

“How can this happen when I’m away?” questioned Milne.

Milne said transfer station designations should be site specific and if there was a perimeter around the Arden property and he went through proper process, that would be acceptable.

Transfer stations, said Milne, have a certain perception and the use causes controversy and angst among people and there was a need to be careful where these are located.

At a special council meeting on July 21, council voted in favour of rescinding Bylaw 596 and 597 and giving it first and second reading. The bylaws had previously gone to third reading at the council meeting on July 14.

CAO Gord Howie advised council that these was the steps which needed to be taken because of an error in dealing with five Goodridge Road properties.

“It puts the property zoning in collision with the community plan,” said Howie.

There are currently 19 properties in the district with M2 zoning. The amended bylaw would exclude 2040 and 2050 Idlemore Road from the proposed bylaw changes, as well as the five properties along Goodridge Road including Goodridge Peninsula.

Mayor Wendal Milne and Councillor Kerrie Reay were opposed. Councillor Maja Tait had previously stated her opposition.

A new public hearing will be held, most likely in September before final adoption of the bylaws.

At a special council meeting on July 24, Mayor Milne notified council that he would be asking for reconsideration of Bylaws 596 and 597 in accordance with Section 131 of the Community Charter. This will be brought back for reconsideration in September.

In other news, council unanimously passed third reading to place a bylaw on the November ballot giving the district authority for long-term borrowing of $1.5-million for a community public space. It was necessary to push this item through as the province is requesting all submissions to be in by August 5, 2014. A committee will be struck in September to gather local input and suggestions.

The whole community would have input into what the building would look like, said Milne. There are several options including; a new build, partnering or leasing from a new library or renovating the Sooke Community Hall.

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