Editorial: Profits shouldn’t override amenity

Community amenities should be built sooner rather than later

Sun River at build out is expected to have 650 homes, 715 if on sewer. The development takes up a whole mountain side and it isn’t finished yet. It’s big and it is profitable. The residents have some amenities but not many and the district didn’t ask for much when the development plans first came to council.

What has been promised and is still missing are the playing fields and elementary school which have been on the drawing board for years. The district is becoming concerned that they will be delayed even longer and they want to sever the playing fields/school scenario so kids and adults can start using some fields. There has been some switching of the property for various reasons including ALR requirements, etc. No one has really complained about that much but it is time to get on with what has been promised by the developer. Sun River is already in phase three and no sign of the community amenity. It’s time to move it along and not at the taxpayers expense.

What needs to be considered is the fact that the District of Sooke gets so excited about something being built here that they forget to ask for what they could reasonably expect as far as community amenities  go. This area is prime for further development and it will come once the economy improves, there is no doubt about that. It is a natural expansion area and people really do like living here. The district needs to get more from developers not less. Anyone with money in their pockets and a dream  knows they can expect to pay for their profit from a development. Banks don’t lend money to developers unless they can prove they have real money not promises. It’s the cost of doing business.

Sooke needs to get tougher in what they ask for, put in some design guidelines and help speed processes along. Then we will grow.