Your editorial in the Nov. 7 Sooke News Mirror commenting on council’s support of the Bike Skills Park says that, “… what irks people is the fact that a decision was made in haste when there was obviously no need.” To which Gail Hall, in her excellent piece in the same paper, adds that the approval process was biased by “assuring the proponents that they have… support from council.”
A similar bias and haste was also apparent in council’s approval of two other cases, namely: granting (Sooke) Harbour House the right to unlimited night time noise from their tent — very useful as an inducement when the property went on sale shortly thereafter; and permitting the building of a car wash behind Village Foods — construction of which has already begun. In all three cases existing restrictions had to be overturned and significant objections ignored in council’s haste to accede to the wishes of a favoured few.
Particularly disconcerting was Mayor Milne’s statment in the Sept. 26 Sooke News Mirror that his car wash buddies were “visionary,” that rezoning the property was no big deal and that, in any case, “the town centre has shifted to Mariner’s Village,” putting Murray Road on the periphery. Could our mayor have missed seeing the new pharmacy building, the new bank building, the monstrosity at Cedar Grove, the new hotel and boat launch, even the modest addition to the Sooke Power Supply building — all rising in the opposite direction?
This does not inspire confidence as the new zoning bylaw to replace Bylaw 500 will, to quote Mayor Milne in the Oct. 17 Sooke News Mirror, “accurately represent the direction which council believes is appropriate for Sooke, “no doubt firmly guided by a variety of special interests.