Bylaw 600 passed one more hurdle towards becoming Sooke’s new zoning bylaw at a public hearing on Jan. 15. After two open houses, letters, four meetings over four months and referrals from 22 agencies, District of Sooke council gave the bylaw third reading.
Council made the decision to revamp Bylaw 500 after it came to light that proper due process with the public was not carried out.
During the public hearing a number of residents came forward to express their opinions and concerns in regard to some of the changes to zoning brought about in Bylaw 600.
Opposition to zoning changes to a property on Dufour Road brought a comment from a neighbour. He felt the change from W2 to Marina W3 would impact his quiet enjoyment. The resident stated the bylaw change was “trampling on all our rights from people who have not followed the rules from the beginning.”
Rick Gates gave a lengthy address to council stating that these “tweaks may result in situations that are worse than you’ve got now.” He mentioned conflicting visions between the Official Community Plan and Bylaw 600, as did resident Robert Martin.
Gates mentioned the vision of a small town atmosphere in conflict with projected growth figures.
Gail Hall felt there was nothing in the bylaw that benefitted the community.
“There is a lot of nonsense in the zoning bylaw you did not put there, but did not take out,” said Hall. She thinks council should start over, stating council has got the cart before the horse.
Councillor Kerrie Reay said she was opposed to the rezoning on Dufour and the amalgamation of CTC1 and CTC2 zones and vehicle sales on the south side.
Councillor Maja Tait did not support first and second reading and said she would not support Bylaw 600. She said she was fine with the housekeeping measures but not the material changes.
Mayor Wendal Milne stated this was a “lengthy process and I don’t know what more a committee could have done than we did.”
He said there were things in the bylaw he didn’t agree with.
“People don’t seem to have an interest unless it affects them,” he said. “I see this as a democratic, open process.”
Milne said the OCP was well intentioned and needs a second look.
Council gave third reading to Bylaw 600. Coun. Maja Tait was opposed.
Bylaw 600 will need approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure before it is adopted.