Sidewalks still a distant dream

The Land Use and Environment Committee held their monthly meeting on Monday, March 18.

The Land Use and Environment Committee held their monthly meeting on Monday, March 18.

The first item for discussion, the impact of logging on Strata 5352, presented by Dr. Parvez Kumar. The neighbouring land is owned by Beecher Bay First Nations, also known as Scia’new, and there is some indication that logging might occur. It came up during this conversation that Sooke does not have a Steep Slop Development plan.

By the end of the discussion, members of the Strata were encouraged to start a dialogue with the Beecher Bay First Nations to discuss their concerns. Maja Tait made the motion that staff should investigate a steep slope bylaw for presentation to council so that council can follow up with this. The motion was seconded and it passed.

The next item on the agenda was the Silver Spray development in East Sooke. A presentation was made by Michael Thornton, where he requested approval for a temporary cottage to be built on a rocky area within the required 15 metre horizontal setback, subject to an engineering assessment. Council agreed with his proposal.

Once the presentations were done pre-application meetings with potential developers and property owners was discussed.

Randy Clarkston, a Sooke resident who owns and runs West Coast Design and Development Services, said that the Sooke process is immature and cumbersome, and that he advises his clients to wait until Sooke matures as a municipality. One time, said Clarkston, it took eight months for a variance request for one inch in a garage to be sent out, from the time of application.

Council agreed that the conversation needs to continue.

The discussion of Bylaws 65 and 70 was tabled for another meeting, possibly a special meeting, as this committee meets only once a month.

There was also some discussion on the requirement of amenities that developers are required to bring into a development (sidewalks, services and other amenities). The issue of amenties was ultimately referred back to staff for more research and input.