Re: Sooke, developer rejig covenant to add parkland (News, July 7)
The developers of Sooke’s ViewPoint Estates have once again defied gravity, or at the very least defied the pre-existing requirements to have deserved a unique bylaw from our municipality.
Having once convinced Sooke’s elected and hired stewards as to why their large-scale housing project should be unencumbered by the oversights that Controlled Development (CD) lots came attached with, they’ve now been found to have excavated the very pristine park spaces that they once promised in return for a free hand at lot construction. Congratulations to those in our municipal departments who finally came forward with evidence of these most recent egregious actions.
The once promised natural parkland for Sooke residents has instead been turned into rubble and refuse dump.
Though it may be questionable whether an adequate reason for these transgressions has been provided to district staff, the developer has certainly shown his true colours by using the current mess as an opportunity to double down and ask for a net increase in the allowed number of remaining lots as part of a revisionary covenant. Destroy parkland and ask for more lots to sell. Now that’s a new level of chutzpah.
Developer Ian Laing has stated that he wants to be a “good neighbour.” Do we dare ask if his own neighbourhood is in Sooke, or will this become one more example of an out-of-town entrepreneur having their way at the expense of the good people of Sooke?
In the meanwhile, let’s use this lesson as a template when considering the new official community plan and how our district must remain vigilant in enforcing planning and environmental matters. Words and actions matter.