Letters: Otter Water

As reported last week the draft Otter Point Official Community Plan has passed an important hurdle.

As reported last week the draft Otter Point Official Community Plan has passed an important hurdle. On Feb. 27 the proposed settlement area and density recommendations passed the CRD Planning and Transportation  Committee unanimously as consistent with the Regional Growth Strategy.

The committee also endorsed the proposal to expand the area to be potentially serviced by community water supply. The 2007 OCP policies (in all JDF OCPs) do not permit water to be extended outside the settlement containment area. The denial of public water as a means of  controlling  development has been one of the OCPs’ most contentious features. The community felt that everyone should have access to clean, safe public water and development should be regulated by precise zoning requirements.

Just like Metchosin.

In fact, Mayor John Ranns wholeheartedly endorsed both the water and density proposals. He explained that Metchosin allows public water service everywhere in the district (it’s now at approximately 65 per cent) and has seen no population growth in 13 years. He also supported the one hectare density proposal (for all properties under 25 ha.) and re-iterated his oft-stated position that if Metchosin and East Sooke were to merge he would allow all the Rural A zoned properties to become two acre fee-simple lots. With public water availability. The Otter Point proposals are essentially what he has  supported all along, he said.

(It kind of begs the question why we had to go through all the down-zoning etc. since he was a member of the three-man Land Use Committee A that installed those measures, but hey).

Having received unanimous approval of the CRD Planning and Transportation  Committee would seem to signal smooth sailing for the proposals, which now go to the full CRD board, but it’s not that simple. Ideology runs deep there, where a director from the downtown core recently voted against a one block extention of the water line to service the new East Sooke fire hall because it constituted “urban sprawl.”

The drama continues on Wednesday, March 13.

Zac Doeding

Association of B.C Land Owners