I am addressing the above issue because. like many residents, I live outside the sewered zone and find myself faced with the total decimation of my now unsustainable resident acreage.
When I purchased it in 1968 to buffer my retirement (doctors had no pension from an employer) the eight and one-half acres was approved for a 26 lots subdivision. Under RU4 it is not approved for only four lots and this scree fixed because “it would be too difficult an issue at council to sensibly alter this.” It wasn’t considered too difficult to write the new rules, why should it be too difficult to reverse this Draconian choke hold on reasonable financial retirement now denied.
The RU4 downgrading brings forth the motive for such inconsiderate, unjust and unfair legislated hardships on any who had a costly hand in supporting this community in the last 40-50 years of progressive development.
Public knowledge reveals the involvement, in our council’s decision making, of both the CRD’s and VIHA’s influence upon our council and so our resident’s rightful freedom to enjoy the advances of our hardships in holding acreage residences.
Could it be that these two agencies see a furtherance of their own bureaucracies’ work load and consequent self-serving growth and wage earning? Many understood that “Incorporation” was to leave us autonomous in community planning and Bylaw 500 clearly indicates we have lost this autonomy.
Earlier provisions allowed septic tank supported subdivisions upon 7,500 sq. ft. lots. A claim has arisen that we need extra area for subsequent tile fields should the existent fail. The soil doesn’t fail — only the tile and so a “new” tile field can be laid in the old field’s site without difficulty — mine so done 15 years ago is still working well once the plugged broken tile was replaced with better modern ABS. This nonsensical tile field folly has merely outlawed reasonable subdivision, and as such an increase in tax base. Saseenos needs to be sewered, so lets get on with it rather than male residents in areas, peripheral to the “core” area, poor orphans. RU4 zoning makes absolutely no sense, financially handicapping the progress of our community once allow for normal growth and acceptance of continuing newcomers who would like to live in our once enjoyable free area.’The RU4 zoning is tainted with counter productive partisan bureaucratic strangle hold.
As we have all seen with Prestige and Mariners development, council saw fit to rebound with multiple “allowances” in the course of their development. It would appear that what council and the big boys want can be arranged in short order. But, what small developers and residents wish to advantageously do with their properties can be delayed from two to 15 years or completely blocked by bureaucratic serving obstructionist bylaws done with ease but too difficult procedurally to be altered to more rational and sensible regulations.
It would appear that council and its cabal of outside influences are more concerned with the ease and profitability of running the District of Sooke than the well being of its tax paying residents for whose betterment and service they were elected.
The catastrophic devaluation of residential acreage must be corrected and in the meantime, taxes for those lands greatly reduced or the nonsensical restrictions of RU4 greatly modified to the earlier more sensible regulations.
Such demonical legislation across B.C. has created “Incorporated” areas places for only the very rich to reside in us with Merritt andf Keremeos in recent years Do we want this occurring in Sooke? Majority say no.
Time our council managed Sooke affairs to serve Sooke residents, not the bureaucracies of outside agencies.
The RU4 zoning is a thinly disguised legislative step to cease subdivisions that worked well on septic and 7,500 sq. ft. Perhaps we need to more carefully scrutinize the aim of those running for office and avoid the sainted lack lustre individuals opting for the perfect world scenario and generous wages and an opportunity to leave behind expensive monuments to their term of office.
Thank you for your period of attention. It is regrettable that we have seen the glorification of council at the expense of taxes and lifestyle of many of our residents.
Brian D. Perry-Whittingham
Note: Bylaw 500 was rescinded and is now known as Bylaw 600.