At the July 14 public hearing regarding changing the zoning of M2 to allow waste transfer stations there was overwhelming opposition expressed by the majority of the speakers. Despite this opposition council voted for the bylaws to allow waste transfer stations in the M2 zone. However, at the July 21 council meeting the vote was rescinded due to an issue with Goodridge Peninsula (zoned M2) and the OCP. It appears there may be another public hearing on this issue in the near future. In other words, this situation is a big mess, and is costing taxpayers’ money and wasting time, seemingly for the benefit of one person.
At the July 21 meeting Mayor Milne used some strong words to indicate his opposition of this change in the zoning bylaw. Apparently the mayor was approached in January 2014 by a representative of Mr. Arden asking whether a waste transfer station could be set up on the Arden property. The mayor correctly told this person no because M2 is not zoned for waste transfer stations. The mayor then went on holidays, some of the councillors had discussions, and when the mayor got back there were in fact plans to set up a waste transfer station on Mr. Arden’s property. Mayor Milne went on to say that this whole situation “stinks” and that he was “infuriated.” To be fair, the mayor also said that if Mr. Arden went through the proper process his property would probably work for this purpose.
So it appears that certain councillors went behind the mayor’s back to help out Mr. Arden. The mayor is correct; this situation does stink, and can now only be perceived as certain councillors showing favouritism to a friend, which goes against the oath of office each councillor swore to. When explaining his opposition, the mayor said the following: “As elected officials we only have one or two things in life, which are integrity and the perception of honesty and being upfront with people.” I appreciate Mayor Milne being upfront with the taxpayers of Sooke about this fiasco.