Letters: Parking issues need to be addressed

Each week Sooke News Mirror readers express themselves on the Letters to the Editor pages

For the second time in the past few weeks, I attended a trade show at the Prestige Hotel and was lucky enough to find a parking spot, the first time in the underground parking lot (30+ spots) and on Saturday on the sidewalk, yes the sidewalk of  our public boat launch land; lots of cars were lined up on busy West Coast Road. The hotel was booked with a girls’ hockey tournament. The development permit that the hotel received allowed them to build a 122 rooms hotel  plus a 300 capacity conference centre, restaurant (how many seats open to outside guests?),  two small eateries,  fitness center, swimming pool and spa. Let’s not add up how many customers they may have at one point but it is more than the 101 parking stalls they were required to provide. I also asked myself where is the staff parking? Do the math, it will never work.

What really irritates me was that everyone was using the  “public boat launch reserved parking stalls.”  (By the way, I think six stalls are supposed to be reserved for the emergency rescue boats and Coast Guard) of course; so fishing boat owners I recommend that you always check if the hotel has a conference going or if they are fully booked, as you may never be able to launch your boat and park your trailer in parking stalls that belong to all of us taxpayers.

Do you think that I am bitter because as the owner of Sooke Harbour House, a 280-room hotel without a conference centre, I was required to have 77 parking stalls and rezone a residential property and turn it into a parking lot that is mostly empty or used by people going on a stroll to Whiffen Spit park, not my guests.  No, I have always tried to have more hotels in Sooke, it is better for my business, just look at Tofino – how many hotels, resorts, B&Bs do you think they have? It makes a lot of sense to offer more alternatives to guests wanting to visit our beautiful area.

I am upset because rules were not followed and now, we the taxpayers, are going to have to suffer the consequences. I think the hotel should be required to own a big shuttle bus and find a place in Sooke where people can park their cars and be shuttled, and that a towing company be asked to come regularly and tow away any car parked illegally on our public boat launch parking stalls or maybe I should offer my parking lot to the Prestige Hotel.

Frederique Philip

Co-owner,

Sooke Harbour House