Council Briefs – March 5, 2014

A brief summary of what went on at Sooke council on February 24

District of Sooke council dealt with the following items on the council agenda at the February 24 meeting.

Bylaws:

• The Land Use and Environment Committee recommended that council give first, second and third reading to Bylaw 586, Delegation Amendment Bylaw. This bylaw would provide powers to the Approving Officer allowing more flexibility as to frontage improvements. Council passed the recommendation.

• Council granted first and second reading to Bylaw 587, Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 6695 Rhodonite Drive and will schedule a public hearing. The applicant requested the rezoning with the intent of subdividing to create one new lot. The property is on 0.24 acres and was at one time part of a 14-lot bare land strata plan.

• First and second reading was granted to a rezoning application for 2346 and 2350 Sooke River Road. The rezone will change the property from Rural Residential to Neighbourhood Rural Residential. A public hearing will be scheduled. The rezoning will allow the applicant to subdivide and create one new lot. Planner Gerard LeBlanc stated the rezoning will maintain the rural character.

Reports Requiring Action:

Council approved amendments to the Community Grant Policy to help streamline the application process, improve consistency and lessen administrative requirements managing the program. The Finance and Admministration Committee will review the Fee for Service Agreements (former Category C) and make recommendations to council. Fee for Service Agreements are in place for the Sooke Community Association ($28,000), Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce ($28,150), Sooke Region Tourism Association ($20,000), Visitor Information Centre ($20,000) for a total of $96,150.

The RCMP Monthly Report was presented by Staff Sergeant Steve Wright. He mentioned Jack McArthur would be taking the reins of the detachment when Wright leaves for a post at the West Shore detachment. Wright will continue to reside in Sooke and will be part of the Cops for Cancer ride next year.

Wright said the “good, the bad and the ugly” in Sooke  were: the good – he has seen a positive impact in the community but the bad is a negative trending of rising property offenses (up 32 per cent). The ugly is  the property offenses and violent crimes tied to the drug trade. Thefts from vehicles under $5,000 were up from 79 in 2012 to 134 in 2013. Theft under $5,000 up from 82 in 2012 to 104 in 2013. Break and Enter residential was up from19 in 2012 to 25 in 2013.

He suggested the district sit down with the police to see where they want the policing priorities to be. He suggested starting this dialogue sooner rather than later and stated their staff is working hard and as best they can.

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