Bad LUC, good LUC

Letters

I am typically reticent to write letters to the media. However I feel a travesty of epic proportions transpired at the CRD Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee meeting in Sooke on Aug.16, 2011, which merits public awareness.

The aforementioned travesty entailed a variance development permit and floodplain exemption variance for a lot containing a community’s vital drinking water source bisecting a property zoned undevelopable.

The LUC vote was three to two in favour of the permit over the health and safety of over 225 people. Previously this variance was heard in 2003 and 2006, both times voted against, in 2006 unanimously.

The proponent’s presentation consisted of a map overview of the lot and quotes as to the viability of placing their septic tank a metre or so from Goudie Creek, the fresh water drinking source for over 100 families.

The staff report contained only one passing reference to the creek being a water source; no details, no questions of water quality for drinking, and no comments to the ‘experts’ about how they are protecting a domestic water supply.

The four opponents, all from the community, three of whom live within 500 meters of the proposed development, all spoke of their grave concerns of: contaminated water; tenuous ground cover consisting mostly of sand; relying extensively on the existing tree roots to provide stability, especially for the steep creek bank.

Graphic images from a devastating creek washout in Jan. 2009 were presented to the committee. The wash-out cut a 20-foot deep swath taking out a portion of the road, a culvert, and major portions of three driveways, all within 150 feet of the proposed driveway.

A reconsideration meeting is essential. The map on the official notice was wrong, erroneously showing the position of the creek. As well a landowner abutting lot #113 did not receive notice. Others should have been notified.

The essence of LUC is to protect the public from dangerous proposals — this government body let its constituents down by placing the vital drinking water n jeopardy, for the benefit of one.

The notion of allowing a septic tank placed on a steep slope only four feet from the Sheringham Estates’ water supply is beyond irresponsible, it’s insane.

Thanks to the two rational committee members who felt that sustaining the community’s water source was paramount and voted against this ludicrous variance permit.

John Walls

Shirley