Council briefs

The regular District of Sooke council meeting of March 14 had three Public Hearings for properties at 2455 and 2830 Phillips Road as well as 6978 West Coast Road. Councillor Sheila Beech was acting mayor.

The proponents were seeking third reading for zoning amendments and phased development agreements.

Council gave third reading to Bylaw 479 – 2455 Phillips Road, to allow text amendments in the Sun River Estates Zone and amending the zoning on the properties to create a new area, Area F. Area F creates 23 fee simple lots on the 2.15 hectare property.

Planner Gerard LeBlanc said the new zoning would allow 400 sq. metre lots, secondary suites, home-based business, boarding and lodging, community care facility as well as a show home.

One resident opposed the rezoning stating that the density on the property would de-value homes in the area.

“They look like fish shacks to me,” he said. “The workmanship has gone downhill.”

His opinion was countered by builder Bill Patterson who said the houses were being built with the same exterior material but a different style.

“We are building better homes in Sunriver than when we started,” he said.

Another resident asked whether the road would be finished.

District Engineer Elizabeth Nelson said a requirement was to have the road upgraded as part of this development.

Bylaw 447, a Phased development Agreement for 2830 Phillips Road was postponed to March 28 in order for council to gather more information.

This submission garnered a number of responses from the gallery as well as scores of emails. The emails, part of a letter writing campaign, basically stated that Bylaw 447 would land-lock the proposed site and access to the Crown land beyond would result in a trespass situation. The emails called for public access across the private easement.

The Ministry of Natural Resource Operations sent a letter stating, “When you are considering subdivision plans in your District, the Province would appreciate your cooperation in ensuring that access to lands beyond be considered in your approval process.”

Basically property owners in the area asked for access to their lands and for the roads to be fixed. They currently have to deal with what they describe as a very narrow and impassable road.

Bylaw 447 was a Phased Development Agreement and developer Scott Kendrew was looking to scrap the previous requirement to upgrade the existing graveled road south of the property, construct a turn around and install a sign with an approved new road names and a stop sign at the intersection of the unnamed road and Phillips Road. Kendrew wants to have access to his lots from a 10m driveway that accesses Phillips Road.

In addressing council Kendrew first thanked council for allowing machine-built fires as the cost of hauling was prohibitive saving him over $200,000. He said the cost of building the required road would be in the $1.5 million range and he would not be moving forward at this time.

“I’ve owned this property for 48 years and I do not consider myself a developer,” he said. He said if the zoning does not go through he would be better off to build three houses on Lot A rather than build the road.

“I’m looking for a partner to build the road,” he stated.

Landowner Doug Christie said he has sympathy for Mr. Kendrew but if they cut off they would be land-locked with the loss of the right-of-way they thought they had.

The Public Hearing will continue at the March 28 regular council meeting.

Council gave third reading to Bylaw 456 and 461 after having to rescind the previous bylaw because of an error in the description of the properties. Lot B in the legal description was missed. Councillor Ron Dumont was opposed.

A Development Variance Permit was granted to the owners of a property at 2590 Sooke River Road. The applicant wished to vary the setbacks on the property to accommodate decks and entrance stairs.

Bylaw 484, Sooke Core Sewer Specified Area Cost Recovery, was adopted by council, as was Bylaw 482, Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 2191 Townsend Road.

A Notice of Motion by  Councillor Herb Haldane was acknowledged and will be considered at the March 28 council meeting. The motion reads: “That council direct staff to engage an independent company to evaluate the current condition and future capability of the District of Sooke wastewater collection and treatment system.”

Sooke News Mirror