Sooke Zoning Bylaw No. 270 violates the property rights it claims to protect.
Its preamble purports among other things, to secure adequate light, recognize land value and to conserve property values.
However, the bylaw deliberately and explicitly excludes hedges from its definition of a fence. Unlike other municipalities, in Sooke, a hedge may take the form of a densely foliaged living fence and be allowed to grow without municipal restriction to a height of over six metres.
Property owners who once paid for the enjoyment of a beautiful view must not only suffer its loss but swallow an enforced depreciation, by thousands of dollars, of their property’s value.
The fence definition should be revised to be fair to all Sooke property owners so that hedge height be restricted to the same maxima as non-living fences.