Sooke council awaits word on agricultural land

Process has been delayed as it awaits word from the Agricultural Land Commission.

  • Jul. 29, 2015 7:00 a.m.

District of Sooke council is playing the waiting game.

As the district works at establishing a multi-use trail, horseshoe pitch and parking lot along Sooke River Road, the process has been delayed as it awaits word from the Agricultural Land Commission.

The district contacted the ALC several weeks ago to determine whether the potential gravel parking area and multi-use trail could use the agricultural land. The horseshoe pitch is a permitted use.

Last month two members of council, district staff and representatives from Sooke Community Association and Sooke Horseshoe Pitching Association walked the site along 2200 to 2250 Sooke River Road and agreed a suitable location for the trail would be to route it along an old logging access road that runs from the north end of 2250 Sooke River Rd. to the back of the current horseshoe pitch location.

The horseshoe pitching club prefers a site further up Sooke River Road.

But council is stuck at an impasse on the entire multi-use community centre project as it awaits word from the ALC.

“Where it stands now is the horseshoe pitch is the only permitted-use (on the land),” Mayor Maja Tait told council.

“If the ALR comes back and says you can’t do parking on there whatsoever – then it rules out the whole playing field component. Clearly we need to wait.”

Coun. Brenda Parkinson also urged council to wait for the ALC decision. “I find it hard to vote on the issue when we don’t know what’s allowed on the land.”

Councillors Kevin Pearson and Kerrie Reay urged council to move forward.

Said Pearson: “I don’t know what to do next. If it’s not going to fit there, then I guess we’re back to the drawing board.”

District chief administrative officer Gord Howie expects an answer soon from the ALC, but district council’s next meeting isn’t scheduled until September.

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