Sooke council and staff are wise to do more homework on the official community plan (OCP).
The OCP will guide the District of Sooke for not just the next couple of years but the next 10 years. Planning for community development, protecting the environment, and preserving neighbourhoods and rural areas are just some of the issues considered.
Yet, while some hoped district council would move the plan further along last week, council decided to take a sober second look. It’s a good thing, too. In most cases, when political bodies try to push through something too quickly, it does not work out; there are always ramifications and unexpected outcomes.
Politicians might remember a few years ago when councillors implemented a criminal background check fee for volunteers. Several people complained. The cost was straightforward, but no one considered the implications for volunteers or the police. It was too expensive for the volunteers. The police asked for another civilian employee to oversee it. Girl Guides even brought boxes of cookies to a council meeting to demonstrate how many they would need to sell to cover the costs of the criminal background check program.
Council can’t make this oversight mistake with the OCP. They need to get it right.
Councillors could easily have pushed the OCP to the first reading and public hearing – flaws and all. But those problems would resurface at some point – maybe now, maybe years from now – and need to be rectified. It’s far better to do it right the first time around than to start the whole process all over again.
Remember the adage: The tortoise won the race.