Contentious bylaw to get public hearing

Sooke mayor's call for reconsideration of bylaws quashed by council

A contentious bylaw, which would have allowed waste transfer stations in all M2 zones, is being sent back for a public hearing.

District of Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne brought back the bylaw, under the Community Charter, for reconsideration. He asked council to rescind the motion of July 21 which would have seen Bylaw 596 Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw and Bylaw 597, Zoning Amendment Bylaw -– Waste Transfer Station go to public hearing.

“If we don’t rescind, there is not a lot of confidence from the community,” said Milne at the council meeting on September 8. “I’m appalled at the way it all came out. Blanket zones won’t fix this.”

Milne called it “anarchy” as he said people were doing what they want to do, rather than go through the proper process.

“People see this as something slid through and people are concerned,” added Milne.

“This bylaw should be killed,” stated Councillor Maja Tait. “I agree with what the mayor said.

Back in January representatives from Dale Arden, the owner of a property on Idlemore Road, approached Milne about putting in a waste transfer station. Milne, at the time, stated the property was not zoned for a waste transfer station. While Milne was away, somehow the business got approval and was operating contrary to the zoning bylaw and the OCP.

The problem, according to the three councillors who opposed the rescinding of the bylaw, was one of “definition.” Opposed to rescinding the motion of July 21, 2014 were Councillors Kevin Pearson, Herb Haldane and Bev Berger. Coun. Rick Kasper was absent from the meeting.

Milne stated that if the motion was rescinded and the bylaw quashed, each individual property owner could come forward for rezoning to accommodate the use they wanted for their industrial property. He said uses should be specific to each property, not blanket zoned and be linked to the Official Community Plan.

“People that were blanket zoned didn’t want to be rezoned,” said Milne.

“The only question I have is the definition in the bylaw,” said Coun. Haldane. “Exactly what is what?”

“No one set out to cause community strife,” said Pearson. “There is no definition, that’s the point… It’s not blanket zoning, it’s adding a use.”

After the votes were counted, it was a tie. Rescinding the previous motion was lost and a public hearing based on the original motion will be scheduled. The bylaw still needs to go to third reading and adoption.