Water, or lack of it, on council agenda

Residents in Otter Point concerned with water supply

A special council meeting was held on Monday, January 6 to deal with unfinished business.

A number of violations in regard to building permits, issued to Sooke Prestige Hotel, had been noted by Sooke’s building inspectors. On the agenda at the November 25 council meeting was the recommendation to direct the corporate officer to file a notice in the Victoria Land Title office. An Occupancy Permit had not been issued by the District of Sooke.

The building inspectors found issues with incorrect addressing on schedules and schedules omitting the penthouse, as well as fire suppression systems, mechanical and plumbing. Basically it came down to inadequate sign off in those areas.

At the January 6 meeting it was noted that all the bylaw violations had been dealt with and the district was satisfied that all of the permits were now in order.

A Development Varianace Permit for 2680 Otter Point Road was tabled while council seeks more information on the issue of water supply and infrastructure. The DVP was brought before council for reconsideration  by Mayor Wendal Milne after it has not been approved by council at the December 9, 2013 meeting.

The proponent was looking to build another home and was seeking a variance to the water servicing standards, specifically a well rather than connecting to the municipal water supply provided through the Capital Regional District Water Service.

Neighbours of the proponent were on hand to talk to council about their issues with water, or lack of  it, in the area.

The neighbours were concerned that any further consumption of water would cripple the water source of the downstream properties.

Randy Clarkston, speaking for the applicant, stated that there would be no added pressure on surface water if another residence was added.

The nearby residents disagreed with this statement. The proponent did not want to drill another deep well.

R. Low said one of the saddest things is that the CRD has been making promises of hooking them up to municipal water for years and they still have to purchase water when their well runs dry. The aquifer which supplies water to the area is not re-charging at a rate where everyone has sufficient water. He said they pay taxes thereby subsidizing CRD water and they still have to pay for trucked-in water. He wants to see the district and CRD step up to the plate and   get the homes onto the municipal water supply.

At issue as well is the water supplier who will be charging customers more for the water they deliver. The CRD has constructed three new water dispensing stations and disallowing water suppliers to use fire hydrants as dispensing stations, which is prohibited. The bulk water carriers would require a permit to purchase water from the new dispensing stations. The dispensing stations are now in Langford, Sooke with the East Sooke station to be completed this year.

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