Council authorizes spending for land

District of Sooke lining up properties for projects

It appears that a document signed in the 1920s has resurfaced and a portion of a gazetted road will be given back to the owners of property along West Coast Road.

At the District of Sooke regular council meeting on August 12, local resident Terrance Martin questioned council as to the need to compensate the developer for a provincial highway dedication. He also questioned why the district is “giving” the owner a piece of waterfront property.

“The developer should be buying it from the district,” said Martin. “It’s a gorgeous beach down there.”

A portion of the property at 7707 West Coast Road was taken as road dedication back in 1922 but it was never used for the road. Council is proposing to close and remove the highway dedication and dispose portions of unused gazetted road.  The Land Use Committee recommended a direct exchange of the proposed gazetted road. The owner requested a direct exchange with no financial payment to the district.

“The property was expropriated for a road which was never put in,” said Mayor Wendal Milne.

Martin stated that the province should be compensating the property owner, not the district.

Council gave third reading to Bylaw 574,, West Coast Road Closure and Disposal Bylaw, 2013.

Other items on the council agenda included a delegation from the Sooke Animal Food and Rescue Society requesting council help them acquire a piece of property on which to build a cat shelter. They also requested funding for a generator and/or funds for a shed. Margarita Dominquez, speaking for the society, said they are dealing with an overwhelming feline population in the region.

A matter of referrals came before council in regard to a rezoning application and the unnecessary number of referrals sought in such applications.

Cutting the number of required referrals would help streamline the process.

Councillor Rick Kasper said, “referrals are a waste of time.”

Mayor Milne sent this issue back to the Land Use Committee to investigate.

The district is amid the process of acquiring land for both the connector road from Church Road to Otter Point Road as well as land for the town centre road network and the roundabout.

Property will be purchased from the Wadams family for an 11- metre strip along the frontage of the property at 2182 Church Road and a 25-metre strip along the south boundary. McElhanney Consulting Ltd. is the project manager for the design and construction. This portion will be constructed before the Phillips-Charters section. This project is expected to cost in the realm of $1.9-million.

The district is also purchasing strips of land on Sooke Road and Goodmere Road for the future “Waterview” Road. The new  road will lead to the waterfront. The roundabout and property purchase for it will cost the district around $850,000 with funds coming from the Gas Tax Revenue and road Development Cost Charges.