Council Briefs

A brief recap of what went on in council chambers on May 27.

Public Input:

• A public input meeting was held by District of Sooke council on May 27 for a Development Permit and Development Variance Permit for 6750 West Coast Road. The site is the location for The Hope Centre, a four-story building encompassing 25 affordable living units and commercial space on the ground floor.

Council granted both permits to the Society of St.Vincent de Paul of Vancouver Island.

The variance permit was requested to relax the 15 metre setback to the centreline of Hwy. 14, to 13.78 metres.

The Hope Centre will have 290 sq. metres of commercial space (thrift store), 18 studio suites and seven one bedroom suites, plus 320 sq. metres of office/school space. Tenants will have shared laundry. lounge and outdoor deck space with underground and above ground parking.

Council will also look at exploring the possibility of leasing a unitsat the centre for a seniors’ drop-in centre.

• A Development Variance Permit for 6731 West Coast Road was granted to allow relaxation of Bylaw 65, which will see removal of the requirement for off-street streetlights and boulevard trees on Atherly Road and West Coast Road with the condition that the owner pave an additional three metres on the property frontage at 6739 West Coast Road. The property will have a car and dog wash.

Councillor Herb Haldane stated he had issues with the “whole thing in general,” meaning Bylaw 65 didn’t apply in this instance. Coun. Rick Kasper agreed that there was ambiguity in Bylaw 65 and this was an imposition on owners of the property.

Mayor Wendal Milne stated that design standards were needed for downtown.

Bylaws:

• Bylaw 560 Sooke Core Sewer Specified Area Amendment Bylaw and Bylaw 558 Zoning Bylaw Amendment Bylaw for property at 1781 Minnie Rd., and 7057 West Coast Rd.

Council introduced and gave first and second reading to Bylaw 560 and Bylaw 558. Councillors Kasper and Haldane were opposed.

At issue was the capacity of the sewer pump system and the cost borne by those in the Sewer Specified Area who have been paying into the system for more than six years. The two properties in question are outside the SSA.

Coun. Kasper stated that if expansion of the sewer was going to happen it should be done right and that neighbours should be canvassed to see if they wanted to hook into the system.

“I can’t believe why they make an application to go through the whole process when they hadn’t made a decision on inclusion in the SSA,” said Kasper. “I don’t think this is in the best interests of the taxpayer.”

Mayor Milne said this design was consistent with the long term plan and the $2,800 hook up fee per unit was equivalent to the last five or six years those in the SSA have being paying.

“More users help pay the freight,” said Milne.

A public hearing will be held, date to be announced.

• Council adopted Bylaw 569, A Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 6535 Grant Road East.

• Council gave first and second and third reading to Bylaw 571, Sooke Core Sewer Specified Area Amendment Bylaw for 7022 Nordin Rd.

• Public consultation process will take place after a motion was made by Coun. Haldane to establish a horseshoe pitch on a half acre at John Phillips Memorial Park.

The next public information session concerns the off-leash dog park proposed for a the Ponds Corridor Park on Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

The next regular council meeting takes place at the municipal hall council chambers on June 10 at 7 p.m.

The council and committee meetings are video taped and can be accessed on the District of Sooke website at: www.sooke.ca.