Councillor Rick Kasper

Councillor Rick Kasper

Downzoning affects property rights

Changes to the Sooke Zoning Bylaw means property categories and uses are altered.

nt properties has left some residents of Sooke questioning the reasons. It has also opened up more inquiries as to the rationale of changing other zonings without  informing  property owners.

At the heart of the matter is the growing opposition to an application to amend the purpose and definition of the W2 zone.

A public hearing for a bylaw amendment to Bylaw No. 500 Sooke Zoning Bylaw, 2011 was held to add “group moorage” into the purpose of the W2 zone and allow group moorage as a principle use and define group moorage.

The proposal is to define group moorage as a multi-berth moorage similar to a private moorage facility but for the personal use of a group or association of residents from the surrounding community.

At the public hearing a number of people came forward to speak of their opposition to the change. Some were residents on neighbouring properties, citing potential parking, noise and dust problems. Another felt, in a written submission to council, that this could cause any number of properties zoned W2 to expand their moorage to the maximum and create more group moorages.

A petition with 31 signatures opposed to group moorage was presented to council along with a couple of written submissions.

One resident said, “Council does not have the right to take away our peaceful existence… or drive down property values.”

Realtor Bruce McMillan stated this was a “gross invasion of privacy.”

Salty Towers’ owner Neil Flynn, whose property is next to the controversial property seeking a W2 zoning and group moorage, said this proposed bylaw would affect all private docks.

“If changes are made, any private dock could pursue group moorage,” said Flynn. “If an illegal situation occurs for a long time does that make it legal?”  he questioned.

District planner Gerard LeBlanc said the changes were made because they did not want to create non-conforming zoning and they picked a zoning which would apply to the property based on (foreshore) lease. In regard to the specific property at 1573 Dufour, LeBlanc said the property had private moorage and more than private moorage was happening there. W3 zoning does not apply to upland use, and is a “commercial” ie: marina designation.

Mayor Wendal Milne asked how many W2 zones would be affected and said he could not support the amendment.

In the information package presented at the public hearing, it stated that six properties would be affected by the bylaw amendment, others felt there were many more.

When the latest Sooke Zoning Bylaw 500 was enacted there were many properties which were down-zoned to comply with various land use categories. Property owners were not informed personally but rather through an all encompassing advertisement in the Sooke News Mirror, said Councillor Rick Kasper.

He said this makes it necessary for the property owners whose zoning has changed to apply and pay for a rezoning to bring their properties back to the original land use designation and resulting applicable uses.

He also said that there were hundreds of properties in seven categories that had their properties down-zoned. Most, if not all, of those properties were outside the sewer specified area.

Kasper thinks this is some sort of “money grab.”

“Property rights have been stolen,” he said, adding that the changes have serious impact on property owners and the original zoning should be reinstated. He questioned what the reasoning was in changing the zoning and to whose benefit it was done.

The item was tabled at the council meeting.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews with Central Saanich Fire Department spent Sunday morning mopping up a fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage. The fire displaced six people with its cause still under investigation. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Residents of a Central Saanich duplex ‘fortunate’ to escape Sunday morning fire

Damage to the duplex extensive with one resident said to be ‘catatonic’ after escaping building

Kiana Chamberland was last seen April 15 in Esquimalt. (Victoria Police Department)
MISSING: Kiana Chamberland, considered at high risk

The 24-year-old was last seen April 15th in Esquimalt

Six people are said to have escaped injury and are currently receiving assistance after an early Sunday morning fire in Central Saanich displaced them. (Central Saanich Fire Department/Twitter)
Six people escape early Sunday morning fire in Central Saanich unharmed

Cause of the fire on Galbraith Close remains under investigation

Sooke resident Lesa Cro started up a new pet waste removal business. Cro goes to yards in the region, removes all of the waste and then composts it, so that it doesn’t go into landfills. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
New pet poop-scooping business picks up in Sooke

Poop No More service taking the ‘dirty work’ out of lawn cleaning

Metchosin ecologist Andy MacKinnon is raising alarm bells for arbutus trees, as many are falling victim to a fungus called leaf blights. The leaves and branches of the trees are turning brown or black and then dropping off, eventually killing them. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
Vancouver Island arbutus trees fighting for survival against parasites

Many trees weakened, turning black or brown and dying, says local ecologist

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Most Read