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

Just Posted

Lengthy cannabis report leaves Sooke council with questions

Temporary use option for pot producers seen as untenable

Jeff McArthur suspends Sooke council bid

Former Mountie second candidate to withdraw from race

Sooke council threatens to close long-time business

Driver’s Welding application for a temporary zoning variance denied

Wet conditions put the brakes on Sean Driver’s speed record

Sooke car enthusiast heading back to Bonneville in October

Ogden Point officially rebranded as The Breakwater District

New signage and logos accompany plans for the area’s future

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Sooke athletes win gold at 55+ Games

Myrtle Acton, 86, leads way with three first place finishes

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Two B.C. women selected to compete on ABC’s The Bachelor

Mykenna Dorn and Alexis Thind will compete for bachelor Peter Weber’s heart

Most Read