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Letter: Proper consultation lacking in OCP process

I served on Sooke’s official community plan (OCP) committee

I served on Sooke’s official community plan (OCP) committee

The committee was given the task of updating the OCP. We never had that opportunity to even read or go through it.

A survey was designed without discussion with those of us selected because of our experience and expertise in the community.

The survey gave three options for people to choose from and was so confusing the committee members couldn’t do it. Input from the community was low due to pandemic lockdowns, and the response was limited to a few and really long-time members of the region with lots of expertise were not heard.

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Ultimately, we end up with an OCP that densifies our lands and will clear-cut Sooke.

People who live here are very protective and respectful of their lands, including waterfront property owners, who respect and enjoy where they live.

Building highrises by the ocean, blocking views, paving over our beautiful lands, and removing our trees are not improving our environment. The falsehood of reducing greenhouse gases by removing natural gas and propane for cooking and heating, triple pane windows and cancer-causing spray foam insulation is not the answer.

Other issues like a tree bylaw for homeowners is totally ridiculous. The small lots and densification approved by council is the issue, and a tree cannot compete with the densification.

The agricultural plan thrown into the OCP without discussion with committee members is outdated as it was written in 2012. Since then, the agricultural land commission plan was updated on Feb. 25, 2019 and again updated in January 2020. None of these changes are reflected in the plan.

The OCP did not have proper consultation from the people and should never have gone forward.

The one opportunity for folks to engage was held in the Sooke Community Hall dining room, which was overcrowded and the information on the boards was incorrect and outdated.

Anyone on council voting in favour of this OCP will certainly not be getting my vote. For the record, I had my vote recorded as not going forward with this plan.

Ellen Lewers


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