Well, well, well, it’s going to be an interesting run to the finish. The hopefuls for District of Sooke council are starting to line up. Two contenders for mayor so far, Maja Tait and Herb Haldane, and our guess is there will be at least one other, if not two.
At Monday night’s council meeting, it was obvious that the councillors were all vying for a little air time, explaining their rationale for voting the way they did. It is, after all, election time.
Three councillors who voted in opposition to a motion put forth by the mayor regarding an illegal waste transfer station stated that it was all about their interpretation of the definitions in the zoning bylaws. The point is, this business is operating “illegally” under our bylaws and OCP without having gone through the proper process. It isn’t as though they can’t have a transfer station, it is how they went about it and who approved it. Those who championed the cause for allowing the waste transfer station to open essentially condoned an “illegal” operation contrary to the OCP and zoning bylaws. They went against the mayor’s prior decision on the matter. Explaining it away as ambiguous doesn’t cut it. The proponent, and anyone else for that matter, can go through the proper channels and get their business up and running… but it will cost, just as it does for anyone wanting to rezone.
The other part of this fiasco is those people who had their properties rezoned without any consideration or prior notice. To make it easy for one business to operate and the heck with the rest is not the way to do business in Sooke. The mayor and a couple of councillors know this, the rest don’t seem to get it. You can’t blame this type of decision on lack of definitions. The last time we looked, illegal still means: not according to or authorized by law.