Council Briefs

Issues that came before District of Sooke council on Nov. 26

Development Variance

District of Sooke council, at the regular meeting on Nov. 26 granted a Development Variance Permit to properties at 2174 and 2175 French Road South. The Land Use and Environment Committee had recommended that the following variance be allowed in the proposed subdivision: A relaxation of the front lot line setbacks for garage; and a relaxation of the rear lot line for the principle building.

Lease of Kaltasin Works Yard

Three non-profit groups and two commercial enterprises are looking to do business at the Kaltasin Works Yard.

A Request for Proposal was put out and the non-profits organizations; Juan de Fuca Marine Rescue Society, Sooke Region CHI/Volunteer Centre, Sooke Community Arts Council expressed interest in the space. The commercial enterprises were the Canadian Signal Company Inc. and Ellice Recycle Ltd.

Discussion around the council table ensued and Mayor Wendal Milne said the district needed some financial basis for this area and stated, “I personally don’t want to throw out the revenue maker.”

The district was receiving close to $28,000 for rental of the premises from Canadian Signal Co. (CSC) who leased on a month-to-month basis.

Ellice Recycle is proposing a waste and recycle facility with a lease rate to be negotiated (@$65,000). A considerable investment would be required and the operation would not be in place until mid-2013. There are some issues with the type of operation and rezoning which would have to take place.

The Juan de Fuca Marine Rescue Society is looking for continued placement of the current portable classroom and would enter into a shared lease arrangement. A lease rate has not been negotiated.

The Sooke Region CHI wished office, meetings and storage space for the volunteer centre and member agencies. They want the office building and two storage bays and are also open to sharing.

The Sooke Community Arts Council wants gallery space and artists’ workshops in four storage bays. They also seek shared arrangements.

The owner of CSC came forward and said that his company, which deals with green technology, is looking at business in excess of $100 million over the next five years, translating into 400 jobs. He said he needs space currently for 50 employees. He said he is not sure where he stands as far as leasing space at the works yard and if that didn’t work out for him he would look at relocating to Langford or Colwood.

“I need everything,” he said. “It’s already in motion, it’s already happening.”

Council directed staff to work on lease arrangements for the non-profit groups and CSC. A rezoning will have to occur and staff will bring a report back  to council.

Council signed a letter of support to the Ministry of Environment so Atwater Landing (the former Grouse Nest) may enter into discussions with the MOE for the pre-registration of a satellite treatment plant.


Council received a lengthy report from Fire Chief Steve Sorensen on the sinking of a commercial fishing vessel on Oct. 9. Council discussed the fact that it took a lengthy time for responsible agencies to respond and that the Coast Guard boat could not be used.

Mayor Wendal Milne said they needed to find out who in the Coast Guard was in charge of such incidents and why they couldn’t use their boat since it was sitting on “our dock in our harbour.”

Discussion ensued on who’s responsibility it was for marine “accidents.”

In 2009 there was talk of the fire department acquiring a fire boat.

“This thing concerns me,” said Milne. “But we’re not prepared to buy a boat.”

Council will also be looking at developing a policy for donations and sponsorships. Council felt it was appropriate to develop a framework for monies requested and to apply a standard for every group requesting funding.

Sooke News Mirror

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