Re: Developer seeks second public hearing for Sooke housing plan (Online, May 30)
Sooke council correctly decided that defending neighbourhoods from deficient presentations is more important than merely capitulating to a developer applicant, and they should be thanked for putting the interest of every Sooke resident within the road network associated with View Point Estates ahead of questionable planning.
Though Michael Volk claims to have offered density reductions from the previously zoned 400 controlled development lots (CD9) to 140 or so R3 lots, the stunning shortcoming of the entire public hearing was the lack of competent planning around traffic flow.
The inclusion of a traffic consultant’s report that created more confusion not only failed to help the applicants plight, but clouded our elected officials as to what roads were connecting to this development.
The May 28 council meeting is a legacy that will follow any reincarnation of the applicant’s efforts until safe and suitable roadways and sidewalks are constructed distant to the property so that families in the affected areas do not have to see children walking on dangerously crowded roads, where no sidewalks exist.
Mr. Volk seems a likeable enough fellow, yet as those people living on Maple Park Terrace discovered on his public hearing presentation, the time and place for sewer and road consultations really should have been months earlier at an open house for public input.
Instead, we saw a frenetic wheeling and dealing of options with in-room negotiations that at best define “ad hoc” development to a tee.
Resolving the placement of a high density project like View Point Estates within an existing neighbourhood demands a co-operative approach that must assure safe living standards for those Sooke residents affected by traffic flow to and from View Point Estates. This problem will not go away until active measures are taken to address it.