Silver Spray passes another hurdle

District of Sooke council grants a Development Permit

In September, 2014 the developer of Silver Spray, Michael Thornton, came before council requesting a Development Permit for the destination resort. At the time he was asked to provide stamped architectural drawing and there was also a question of whether the district could be “flexible” with the permit.

Council sought a legal opinion on the two outstanding issues.

Thornton was requesting a major change to the plans he had earlier envisioned for the resort at Possession Point in East Sooke.

In 2013, council approved a Development Permit for 95 private residence club cottages, including a club, pavilion for commercial and recreational use, parking areas and a wastewater treatment plant and associated landscaping in Area A of the CD3 zone.

Then, in September 2014, Thornton proposed a change to the original DP and would like to replace eight three-storey club cottages with between one to five seven-storey buildings.

Thornton also requested a second DP to build one to five buildings referred to as “yacht suites” in place of eight of the cottages. Thornton sees these as  seven storey buildings with parking beneath.

The change was requested because of the uncertainty of the market. Thornton also wanted the flexibility to convert back to the cottages if there was no appetite for the taller buildings.

The developer also has a restaurant, lounge, atrium, Centre of Whale Research, rooftop gardens and a boardwalk in the plans.

Council, upon the advice of the district CAO requested architect stamped drawings for the form and character submissions. This was carried out by the developer and the drawings were presented again to council.

Other outstanding issues, such as parking and density, will be dealt with at the Building Permit stage.

Thornton also requested, at the October 6 council meeting, to have both DPs carry forward to the future registered owner (Landus Development Group 2014) Inc.

During the public comment period, Gail Hall came forward to state that according to the District of Sooke Zoning Bylaw 600, Area A at Silver Spray was allowed only two residential units as it was a commercial zone.

“I don’t think this development can be touted as a private residents’ club as this usually invokes fractional ownership,” said Hall.

Silver Spray has had a long and complicated history with numerous development plans, each of which never materialized to the full extent as seen by the developers.

Councillors Maja Tait, Herb Haldane, Kerrie Reay and Bev Berger   along with Mayor Wendal Milne voted in favour of granting the latest Development Permit. Councillors Rick Kasper and Kevin Pearson were absent from the Special Council Meeting.