Editorial:Fashioning our own future

Having design guidelines in Sooke would do a lot for business

Every town, big or small wants more business. Small towns, like Sooke, strive to bring in sustainable business to boost their commercial tax base as well as to provide jobs for local people. But, the cost of doing business in Sooke is high. First, there are few places to rent or lease and those that are available are costly.  Rent, per square foot, is about the same as it is in Victoria in many cases.

So how does one manage to stay afloat? Sadly many don’t. We have seen the demise of a number of businesses in the last year and, thankfully, the rise of new ones. Rent and wages account for the biggest cost for any business and when you factor in the competition from places like Langford, it’s hard to make a living. The one factor which will set a business apart from its big box competition is uniqueness.

What do you have, make or produce that sets you apart? Sooke is unique and if you go scouting about you can find all manner of businesses that offer something different. But it takes time and effort. With the recent fire, there is the opportunity for the owners to rebuild. Wouldn’t it be nice if they built a real ‘West Coast” style building? Wouldn’t it be nice if the District of Sooke had some building design guidelines so that any new structure would encompass a seaside flavour? This is a big task, but an important one. The flavour of a community is many things and the visual is a large part of the attraction. If we had design guidelines, then we would not have a helter skelter of buildings all looking different. If we want a seaside community which is attractive and a go-to-place, then we need to lead the way. We need to be strict and adhere to our guidelines when it comes to developers. Other communities have done this and it works well. Let’s see if we can manage to get this started for Sooke because with the building boom that is headed our way, we can dictate our own vision.

Just Posted

Saanich resident sends distress signal over cell-phone tower

Wes Solomonson says proposed cell-tower will undermine value of his rural Saanich home

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Third Victoria person pricked by needle in past week

Police say this one appears to have been deliberately placed

Sooke swim team competes well at end-of-year meet

The Tyee Aquatic Club finished off 2017 strong, as multiple swimmers beat… Continue reading

Police in brief: Teens nabbed for pot smoking near Oak Bay cop shop

Yacht club thefts, fireworks found and wakeful arrest in Oak Bay this week

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Most Read