There is an application before council for rezoning of the property where the good folks at Knox Presbyterian Church wish to build housing for the elderly and the disabled.
No one denies the need for affordable and assisted care living units and there is much talk about the baby boomers and the upcoming need for places to live.
As good as the project sounds, there are some issues which need to be addressed — the height of the proposed development for one thing and the traffic situation for another. It was mentioned that the building would be a 65-foot wall with little setback along Church Road overshadowing the neighbours across the road. The increased traffic along Anna Marie Road was mentioned as well as future access to the Grant Road connector project.
When any developer comes before council they should have their i’s dotted and their t’s crossed. Most people are visual and they like to “see” what they are voting on. The Knox folks held open houses, with drawings and such and they should have brought these before council and the public gallery.
It is a good and timely project but the developer needs to do their homework and offer up all the information needed so council can make a decision based on the best use of the land and the best situation for the neighbourhood and the town. We shouldn’t be making shortcuts for some and not others. No one wants Sooke to lose the project and it is unlikely that will happen but, council needs to do their due diligence on this one and set a precedent for the future.