District tackling parking problems one at a time

More spaces opening up as municipality leases, swaps land

  • Tue Jul 5th, 2016 4:00pm
  • News

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

Parking can be the bane of one’s existence in many communities and Sooke is no exception.

First there was the issue of truck and trailer parking along West Coast Road for those launching their boats, then there is the ongoing issue of parking along Murray Road and then there is Eustace Road.

The boat launch parking was addressed by leasing property at the bottom of Maple Road, and the District of Sooke has signed a lease for vacant property on Otter Point Road that will be used for downtown parking.

“There are pockets of concerns and we are focussing on public safety and downtown congestion,” said chief administrative officer Teresa Sullivan.

She also mentioned that the district is in discussion with the Lions Club for a land swap but said there is “nothing formal” at this point.

The land being considered is a .7-acre lot owned by the Sooke Lions Club on Murray Road that was once a kids’ park. Sullivan noted the property is being appraised.

Speaking for the Lions Club, Al Beddows said the club has owned the property for at least 45 years and at one time it was a playing field, had washrooms and swings but had been heavily vandalized and was decommissioned as a park.

The land was listed for sale a number of years ago for approximately $500,000. He emphasized that any discussions were preliminary.

Sullivan said things are picking up in Sooke with a 70 per cent increase in building permits over last year.

She said someone is interested in buying property on the waterfront which will provide more water access, and there is a very large commercial development being considered along West Coast Road.

“It will be the largest one Sooke has ever had,” she said.

She mentioned other building projects include a new library, a second co-op housing development and more assisted living units.