A brief recap of some of the items on the agenda of the June 23 District of Sooke regular council meeting.
Public Input and Information
• Council unanimously voted in favour of issuing a Development Variance Permit and a Development Permit to 6669 Horne Road (Harbourside Cohousing). The applicants are looking to build 32 multi-family dwellings on the .8 hectare property. The development will have one 13-unit three-story apartment building, three one-story duplexes, three two-story duplexes and one secondary suite in the common house. The low rise apartment and duplexes are designed to provide an attractive transition to higher density and respect the views to the harbour.
• Council adopted Bylaw 590, Sooke Town Centre Revitalization Amendment. The bylaw is to amend Bylaw 408 for the purpose of permitting Built Green© buildings and construction types that would, in addition to LEED©, be eligible for property value tax exemptions, reduced building fees and reduced DCCs.
• Council adopted Bylaw 591, to amend the fees for launching a boat and parking at the District of Sooke Public Boat Launch facility. Council will allow the operator to collect $10 fees for launching which includes parking. Sooke residents can purchase a 12-month boat launch permit for $60, the cost for non-residents is $120. Parking in the boat launch sites will be $2 hourly, if no boat is launched, and $10 for 24-hours. Council will re-visit the contract with the operator at the end of one year.
• Bylaw 598, OCP Amendment Bylaw – Town Centre Design Guidelines
Council gave first and second reading to Bylaw 598. A public hearing will be held.
The bylaw will strengthen the policy statements regarding a “West Coast” theme for the town centre and rewrite Development Permit Area for the town centre to include more guidelines around architectural details, storefront design and building materials. Staff is also presenting a draft illustrative design handbook which can be given to potential developers. While this would be a voluntary, Mayor Wendal Milne and Councillor Maja Tait felt there should be some mandatory aspects as well. Council will look into incentive programs for both new builds and renovations to existing buildings.
• Council granted funding of $1,000 to the Sooke Region Historical Society for their Water Flow Line project.
• Council gave a Site Specific Floodplain Exemption to property at 2896 Sooke River Road.
• Council authorized a municipal loan authorization and electoral approval process for long-term borrowing for the proposed Sooke Community Centre. Staff will continue to work with the Sooke Region CHI to determine a location and preliminary design plans.
Councillor Herb Haldane said the district should be looking at existing buildings and renovating them.
“I really don’t think we can afford a seniors’ centre and get value out of it,” said Haldane.
He said the district could work with the Legion and turn that building into a Taj Mahal.
Coun. Bev Berger agreed with Haldane’s sentiments in looking at what we already have in Sooke.
• Council adopted a Tribute Bench Policy for municipal park and trails and a conceptual design of the memorial/tribute area on Whiffin Spit.
The next District of Sooke council meeting takes place on July 14.