As of March 1 we now have two waste transfer stations in Sooke, A&P on Marilyn Road, which is zoned M3, and Arden on Idlemore Road, which is zoned M2. The M3 Heavy Industrial Zone includes, as a principle use, “waste management and recycling,” which implies the inclusion of a waste transfer station. Actually in the definition of “Industrial, Heavy” in the zoning bylaw it is stated: “Heavy industry shall also mean those uses engaged in the operation, parking, and maintenance of heavy equipment, solid waste or sanitary waste transfer stations, public works yards, and container storage.”
The M2 General Industrial Zone includes all uses permitted in the M1 Light Industrial zone, one of which is “Recycling depot” which implies the inclusion of a recycling waste transfer station. However, a prohibited use in the M2 zone is “refuse and garbage dumps,” which in my opinion also prohibits a waste transfer station for refuse and garbage. This means that Arden is currently not zoned for a waste transfer station for refuse and garbage (they are zoned for recycling).
The logical course of action in my opinion is for Arden to stop dealing with garbage and only deal with recycling at this time, since they are currently breaking the zoning bylaw. They should also apply for a rezone to M3 so that they can in fact legally deal with garbage as well as recycling.
Instead Councillor Berger at the council meeting of February 24 made a motion to allow garbage handling in the M1 and M2 zones. After some discussion this motion was amended to allow garbage in the M2 zone and to go to a public hearing. Incredibly this motion passed 5 to 1. If this goes through this means that potentially we could have garbage transfer stations along the highway from Victoria to Sooke. That is a good first impression for visitors to our community.
Once a date for a public hearing is set, I urge residents to attend this hearing and oppose this ridiculous amendment to our zoning bylaw.