The District of Sooke Official Community Plan passed second reading on Sept. 8. It now goes to public hearing on Sept. 27. At the Sept. 8 meeting there were vigorous comments by a minority of participants voicing their views.
It seems that those voices were from the new Vancouver Island Voters Association candidates for Sooke council. However, the misinformation and disinformation in their rhetoric about the intent of the OCP and Climate Action Plan was staggering. Their statements were irresponsible or downright false and must be refuted and corrected by the truth. This same group will be at the public hearing in force, to oppose it.
The Official Community Plan is the best chance we have to secure the livability and sustainability of our community, including more parks, sidewalks, trails, bike paths, increased transit and buildings more resilient to a changing climate. Failure to pass the draft OCP will prevent our community from attaining these amenities and leave Sooke open to continued careless development. Poorly controlled development means that the district will have to pay for the expenses of infrastructure and maintenance for decades to come, long after the developers have made their money and left. Taxes from new developments will not cover these extended costs and thus all our taxes will rise to cover the cost of new development.
I would like to see the Official Community Plan passed into bylaw by the current council. Now is the time to step forward and let council know that you want what the OCP recommends. You want more parks, sidewalks, trails, bike paths, increased transit, buildings that are more resilient to the changing climate, better protections for wildlife and green spaces. Two minutes of your time on Sept. 27 supporting this document will help council to keep our community safe and growing in a positive way.