Council Briefs-April 17

Some of the issues coming before District of Sooke council

District of Sooke council approved a modification agreement to two covenant on the property behind Village Foods that is the site for a laundromat and carwash. The covenants had been put in place to require the owners to dedicate, design and construct a road connecting the existing roadway to Lincroft Road.

The owners (J.C.B. Holdings) no longer want to create that roadway but are requesting the amendment to build a seven-metre road dedicated to the District of Sooke along the private property extending east behind Village Food Markets.

Councillor Herb Haldane stated, “this was all about trying to appease the neighbourhood issue,” and should be to benefit all Sooke citizens. He said this laneway doesn’t take care of traffic flow. He said he was against this amendment. Haldane wondered if this was a “staff initiative.”

Mayor Wendal Milne said he would defend staff on this. He said the road to Lincroft was in the wrong place. Milne also said this amendment was consistent with the longer term transportation plan and this little road would provide some temporary relief.

Robert Martin, who has been a strong opponent to the proposed car wash/laundromat, and who owns property directly behind the site, said, “I thought this was a no-brainer.” He supported the amendment stating that the north-south road to Lincroft was in the wrong location according to the district’s transportation plan. He said, if that road was built, headlights would be shining in people’s windows and the road would become a circle route for trucks. Connecting Logan Lane to the future Waterview Street,  “saves the neighbourhood.”

Other agenda items included the 2013-2014 Corporate Strategic Plan, the 2013-2017 Five Year Financial Plan and Sooke Marine Rescue vessel.

The Corporate Strategic Plan drew some comments from residents and was deferred to the next meeting to take into account comments received at the April 8 meeting.

Comments included considering the value of cultural planning; planning for an aging population; a marine life theme for Sooke; supporting business in Sooke through the work of the Chamber of Commerce; diversification of economic development; environmental protection; and the connector road and the need for a economic analysis.

In the five-year financial plan it is expected that Sooke property owners can expect a very small tax increase of 1.88 per cent. The 2013-2017 Five year Financial Plan will be adopted after a process of public consultation. An Open House is scheduled for April 16 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the district council chambers.

Staff will be sending a letter to the Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Organization in support of the Sooke Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue unit entering into an agreement for the use of the marine rescue services and vessel for emergency responses.

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