Stakeholders toured Lot A last Thursday in anticipation of Saturday afternoon’s charrette. (Contributed)

Stakeholders toured Lot A last Thursday in anticipation of Saturday afternoon’s charrette. (Contributed)

Sooke’s Lot A a chance for a community meeting place

Intense public interest in a community space

Keycorp Planning, the consulting firm charged with coming up with a plan for Lot A in Sooke, held the first of its public sessions on Saturday to get a sense of what residents want on the three-hectare municipally-owned property.

The lot, located at Wadams Way and Anna Marie Road, was purchased three years ago to house a new Vancouver Island Regional Library, and as a key component of the district’s city centre development plan.

Saturday’s session was billed as a “charrette” and was designed as an intensive working session during which a host of community groups were able to contribute to what will eventually be a master plan for the Lot A development.

RELATED: Community meeting has been planned for months

“It was a very good event and we were able to get a really strong sense of what the community’s expectations are for this parcel of land”, said Niall Paltiel of Keycorp Planning Ltd.

“We had a number of adjacent landowners, the Sooke Fine Arts Society, the Sooke Country Market, M’akola Housing Society, the Sooke Seniors Centre, as well as the mayor and councillors and a variety of people who just wanted to drop in and offer their opinions.”

RELATED: Public input critical to the process

He added that some central themes clearly emerged from the input.

“There are certainly a number of places where people gather in Sooke, but what’s missing is a central civic hub. What we heard is that people want this space to fill that gap,” said Paltiel.

Jeff Bateman was one of the councillors on hand at the charrette and he came away with a good feeling about the process to date.

“The public input was very important. We got an idea of where the public space should be located (the south side) and where larger buildings would best be situated (on the east side),” said Bateman.

“The idea of creating a public gathering space was very much an overriding theme, but the key is to see what we do next”

What’s next is for Keycorp to take all the input they received and to create some conceptual plans for consideration. At that point, they plan to take those plans back to the public through a series of open houses, after which they will further refine the plans and take the result to council’s committee-of-the-whole.

After a few final refinements, the plans will be brought to council for approval so work can begin.

“It’s important to manage expectations on a project like this,” cautioned Bateman.

“We have the bones in place, or soon will have, but it’s going to be a process to get the site totally developed. I can see this being a project that could be five to 10 years before it’s totally completed. don’t forget that we have a lot of things to do in the community, ranging from sewers to sidewalks and that this is only one of the tasks before us.”

Despite that cautionary note, Bateman stressed that he was pleased with the weekend event and excited about a project that has the potential to fundamentally change and enhance the community.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read