Sooke district council approved an update on Monday to a commercial zone bylaw allowing primary uses for retail, office, health and personal services.
Previously, the C3 zone was geared toward automotive uses while also accommodating restaurants as primary use and retail and office space as an accessory use. Services related to health and personal care were not permitted.
“This change in zoning is responsive to our community’s need for increased economic diversity and has the potential to bring more local employment opportunities closer to home,” Mayor Maja Tait said.
The change allows for the removal of the rezoning stage for businesses looking to move into Sooke or for existing businesses looking to relocate within the community.
The change in the bylaw came to fruition when the property owner at 6715 West Coast Rd. sought permission from council to get approval for a dental office.
Coun. Kevin Pearson said he was happy to see the changes and hoped more streamlining of zoning bylaws would occur.
“This item, among others, has been part of (staff) discussions, and as we progress through the OCP (official community plan), conversations will continue for more streamlining,” said interim chief administrative officer Don Schaffer.
The district has 13 parcels within the C3 zone, six located within the town centre, five outside the town centre while being adjacent to the highway and two properties in the Kaltasin area.