Council wants work to begin on playing fields

Sun River developers have not started community amenity

Severing an agreement for playing fields and a school at Sun River seemed to be the general feeling amongst council on January 27. District of Sooke council is wanting things to move along with the promised playing fields at the development.

Council wants some action from the school board and some action from the developer.

Back in 2002 there was an agreement in place where the developer of Sun River Estates would develop slow-pitch and soccer playing fields and a school site on lands located at Sun River Way and Riverstone Drive. In 2010, the developer wanted to remove land from the Agricultural Land Reserve and attempted to relocate the playing fields and school site to a property east of the original site.

The original agreement would have seen Sun River develop the fields to the second cut stage but the new proposal would see the District of Sooke complete the final seeding or laying of sod. A $150,000 financial contribution would come from Sun River to finish the fields. Sun River has in good faith put in improvements such as water and hydro to the new site.

The playing fields being developed have been contingent on the school begin built but the school board has not agreed to any specific site.

At council on January 27 there was some talk of severing the two entities with the district going for the playing fields and the developer and the school board “sorting the rest out.

“Let the school board and the developer sort that mess out,” said Councillor Rick Kasper. “Get an agreement in principle for the fields, separate from the original and present school site.”

There was discussion that during Phase Three of the Sun River development the playing fields were to be constructed. Seven years has gone by and nothing has happened, said Kasper.

There is some concern that the district will be stuck with finishing the fields without knowing the end cost and also providing parking at the fields. Operation and maintenance costs have yet to be determined.

A community engagement process involving all of the stakeholders will be arranged where council can receive comments from residents regarding the proposed playing fields and related costs.

“It would be irresponsible of us not to wrap this up, we need to move forward,” stated Mayor Wendal Milne. “We need cold hard documents from the school district.”

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