Rest in peace, John Phillips Park!
On July 30, Health Minister Adrian Dix, speaking on CBC radio about the latest heat death toll, said we should increase green spaces in cities to fight climate change. Sooke council seems to be moving in the opposite direction, waging war on green spaces in our city.
In addition to approving 150 houses on Otter Point Road across from John Phillips Park and 77 apartments with 155 parking spaces practically in the park, council is also considering more significant developments in the park - a community house, a banquet hall for 300 people, a daycare, food concessions, an outdoor soundstage, two more parking lots with hundreds of noise and exhaust-emitting cars, a food truck, and whatnot.
The proposed developments will not make the park grow but shrink to half its size. And with hundreds more people and cars in the park (the council’s vision), there will be hardly any greenery left in this dedicated parkland.
Why can’t the Lions stay on their Murray Road property and the Sooke Community Hall on Eustace Road? These are more town-core places where they belong (not in a park). Is council’s ambition to turn Sooke into Langford or Shanghai?
Since council is required to get the electoral input for these developments in the park, I’d urge all Sooke residents to oppose those grandiose plans by filling out electoral response forms, available Aug. 12, even if you don’t live near the park because the next green space council will decide to develop may be next to you.