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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read