Letters: It’s all water under the bridge

Car wash opponents still feel location is wrong and OCP should not be altered

Well, it’s official. Sooke is getting a car wash in the lane beside Village Foods.

The vote was 5 to 2 in favour of the rezoning change. So much for respecting the original zoning that was passed only 10 months ago.

Rob and I realized we have been fighting an uphill battle ever since the sign went up in May that said “Future Home of Car Wash.”  If that isn’t prejudicial language, then I don’t know what is.

Just to be clear, a laundromat was never in dispute. I feel confident to say there was still no site specific reason given for overriding the Official Community Plan (OCP), the Town Centre Plan or the recently passed Zoning Bylaw 500, except that the developer wants to do this and council is eager to have any development in town.  In fact that is pretty much it, council just wants to “get something going.”

I knew we were sunk the moment the mayor started off the public hearing with a 3-D fly-through sales pitch from the developer.  Apparently this development will only be around 15 years and then it will be torn down and redeveloped to some higher use.  Can’t say I believe this and I’m not sure anyone will remember this statement in 15 years time.

It was frustrating not to be able to speak to council’s comments after the close of the Public Hearing as I feel a lot of points didn’t make sense. For example:  they said the OCP is ambiguous but in the case of automotive services in this location, the OCP is 100 per cent clear and Bylaw 500 backs it up.  In fact, the author and urban designer behind the Town Centre Plan weighed in to say this was the wrong location for a car wash.

Another comment:  a couple of councillors said that Murray Road is not really part of the town centre. But I don’t think the councillors have the right to say what is and is not part of the town centre. The town centre is defined by the OCP and the Town Centre Plan.  Within moments, another councillor remarked that we are premature in calling the proposed Waterview Street the new focal point of the town centre as much of this road goes through private land and could conceivably never happen. Comments about a shifting town centre made no sense and currently the only reliable guide we have to the town centre is the Town Centre Plan.

Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge now.  Rob and I tried our best and for that I don’t regret. It was an excellent opportunity to meet our neighbours and I feel closer to this community as a result.

It was interesting to get involved with the public process and if the decision was solely based on the numbers of people who wrote letters to council, took the time to speak at the public hearings or simple show up to support us, we would have won by a landslide.  The numbers were in our favour.  But politics isn’t a rational pursuit.

We used to walk to the grocery store but I guess now we will be driving so we can wash our car on the way!

Helen Ritts and Rob Martin

Sooke

 

Just Posted

Sooke’s quest for a new library mired in delays and controversy

District now confident new page turned in planned construction of building

Site where rockslide occurred along Malahat is too narrow for rock blasting or drilling: Emcon

‘Rockfalls are inevitable, so we try to increase our response times,’ says representative

Showers ahead for Tuesday morning

Plus a look ahead at the week

Cirque du Soleil brings dazzling ice show Axel to Victoria this spring

Axel includes acrobatics, ice skating, live music and more

Victoria woman reunited with lost family photos dating back to 1970s

‘You can watch their family grow up in these photos,’ says woman who found the box of forgotten photos

VIDEO: The sticky truth about winter moths and how Greater Victoria arborists fight them

Winter moths have ‘killed a lot of trees’ across the region, says Oak Bay arborist

12 Sooke events to get you into the holiday spirit

From a Santa parade to classicial music, Sooke has it all

Trudeau pressed to ensure less restrictive assisted-dying law a priority

Group wants death in the ‘foreseeable future’ to not be a requirement

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Student tells B.C. Supreme Court she wasn’t allowed to leave indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Tuesday

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Most Read