Bylaw 600 has been given third reading meaning that it will become Sooke’s latest zoning bylaw.
The speed with which the original bylaw (Bylaw 500) was put into place points out the errors that can occur when pressure is put on council to expedite something as important as a bylaw. Council could not have envisioned all of the changes instituted and what they would mean to property owners. Council should not and does not operate in a vacuum and they are responsible to the people who put them on council. Time is needed to fully digest issues of this complexity and haste, as it turns out, makes waste. Never mind the costs in staff and legal fees that resulted.
There are three members on council who voted in the original Bylaw 500. Two voted in favour of Bylaw 600 and one was opposed. It’s a lonely place being the only dissenting vote.
What we are seeing now, after the first year, is how the council is sifting into position. One councillor appears to disagree with many of the decisions, others are trying to look at issues with open minds and some are just trying to figure out what their roles are. Council’s role is to make informed decisions based on the information presented. They are not staff, nor do they have that knowledge. They are local citizens who are supposed to represent the rest of us. They don’t always have to agree 100 per cent but they should be united once the vote is made. It shouldn’t become personal. Dissension can be a good thing as it makes one have to consider the “other” side. After all, we have a broad spectrum of opinions in Sooke and council represents that.