SPN DISCLAIMER: All errors are those of SPN. This is by no means an official record of the regular Council meeting; it’s the takeaways as seen and understood by the writer only. For an official version, refer to either the video on the Sooke.ca website, or read the approved minutes once they become available. Corrections are ALWAYS welcome. Please use the comments section below.
Mayor Maja Tait opened up with a general statement against harassment. Council will take action against harassment. Public complaints need to go through due process. ADDED June 28: Read the full statement here.
Ebony Logins was absent.
Agendas were approved.
First Delegation: EMCS Bus shelter art.
Sue Grant presented, Requested $1,827.63 for art windows to be posted in the bus shelters to allow for regular swapping out of art. Carried.
Motion to receive a staff report to clarify how art related projects are received. “That staff provide a report clarifying the current process for Category A and B grants, including recommendations for process improvements. And that all future arts related grant applications be referred to the SPAC committee. “ Carried.
Second Delegation: Gateway to Sooke
John Farmer presented on a Gateway to Sooke area. Still exploratory with their vision and funding options. They meet almost weekly to discuss. The Ministry of Transportation is on board.
Public Question and Comment period
- Britt Santowski noted that while the SOFI was on the Agenda, the report itself was not. She asked when the public might have an opportunity to comment, as the public is only allowed to comment on items on the agenda.
- Gail Hall spoke to an RFP put out for security, and not for it to be assigned via a delegation
Public Hearing 1: Bylaw No. 604, Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw (400-7) & Bylaw No. 605, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (600-13)- Kennedy Closed Road
In addition to whatever was put before council in writing, five residents came up to express their concerns about this property being sold by the Council. Concerns ranged from the current care-taking of the property to extensive future developments. One suggestion included a long-term lease instead of a sale. Another member of the public noted that this was one of the view ocean sea-scapes available in Sooke.
After public input and Council discussion, the third reading was passed.
Regarding the sale of the property, the recommendation was that Council approve the Offer to Purchase, and that the CAO be authorized to execute the sale. Carried.
Public Hearings 2 and 3 passed without any input from the public.
- Public Hearing 2: Bylaw No. 642, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (600-28)- 7090 Grant Road/ 2105 Firwood Place
- Public Hearing 3: Bylaw No. 643, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (600-29) – 7135 Grant Road
Public Hearing 4: Silverspray development water rezoning
DISCLAIMER: This is a complicated issue. For complete and reliable records, please refer to the District video of the meeting. What follows is an outsider’s understanding.
The time spent on this hearing was extensive. There appeared to be two opposing views, one from the developer (Michael Thornton), and the other from those who had purchased property from Silverspray. At issue is the construction of one dock, 60 by 10 feet in an area known as Moonlight Bay, which is located in the waters at the Silverspray resort.
From Thornton’s perspective: When they first embarked on building a resort in East Sooke, there was no water zoning. In 2004 Silverspray and Sooke voted unanimously to connect. At that time, Silverspray had the ability to do their docks at this time. Had they not joined Sooke, today’s issue would not exist. 2006 Sooke decided to do W1 everywhere. Silverspray was not consulted. Today, Silverspray needs a W3 zoning. What Thornton wants is a return to what was there when they started, and that they be allowed to build their one dock.
From the residents perspective: A return to the problem that pre-dated their land purchase, and their understanding of their own access to the waterfront, should not become their burden. An engineer gave a presentation, speaking to a number of misgivings about a dock in this particular area: Weather, fog, access were among his concerns. Another resident was concerned about the sharp drop to his property value. He also noted that he bought this particular lot to be away from the city and a dock would see morning activity starting as early as 5:00 a.m. A lawyer also made a presentation and called attention to government processes, … way over the head of this onlooker.
Ultimately, Council agreed to close the public input section of this issue, but to defer the third reading to the next meeting, which is held on July 11. Mayor Tait pointed out that after July 11, the next Council meeting is not until September. Staff was directed to find out what they could about the Provincial Government’s part of the process by next meeting.
District of Sooke 2015 Annual Report
Received and approved.
Agricultural Land Reserve Exclusion Application – 2249 Sooke River Road
That the ALR Exclusion Application to the Agricultural Land Commission with regard to a portion of Lot 2, Sections 15, Sooke District, Plan 17066, except that part in Plan 19346 in order to accommodate artificial sports field use on the subject property.
Development Variance Permit – 6250 Sooke Road (Teriyaki House)
Development variance permit to allow for an outdoor deck at the Teriyaki House. Carried.
Staff was directed to streamline the process for minor variances. Carried.
Public input: Concern about the field being very very wet. Roof means more customers, more bathrooms.
Remedial Action – 6978 West Coast Road
Bylaw officer requested support in dealing with the property owners at 6978 West Coast Road. There is a tenant there, and the owner is not living up to the requirements of the bylaw. They appear to be unwilling to comply.
Council directed staff to proceed with remedial action to remove materials. Costs, if unpaid, will be added as taxes in arrears. Carried.
Shadow West Securities
Coun. Berger was concerned about scope creep and contracting without doing an RFP (sole sourcing). Coun. Pearson wants S/S McArthur’s input through the CAO, shared Berger’s concerns. CAO noted that Shadow West Securities is the only security company in Sooke. Their familiarity will be better than someone from out of town. Scope will be limited to public properties only. CAO noted concerns about tent city being disbanded and the homeless issue coming out here. Coun. Parkinson recalled McArthur saying that responsibilities need to be clearly spelled out. Coun. Reay noted this started with social media, notes advantage to having something like this. 24-hour surveillance can create more security. Coun. Kasper supports the staff proposal of parts 1 (public parks) and 2 (public buildings). Mayor Tait wanted funds to come from General Operations, not dipping into a reserve or a surplus, or taking from RCMP funds. Coun. Pearson wants CAO, Babbage and McArthur to meet and iron out the details.
A motion was made that council focus on security patrols, combining options one and two, subject to a report from staff with terms of reference. Coun. Berger opposed. Motion passed.
2015 Statement of Financial Information Report
CAO said that because the numbers are factual, there would be no place for public comment.
Brent Blackhall said there’s nothing up for debate.
Coun. Kasper wants to see that dollar amount lowered from $75,000 for employee pay, and would like to see all of the companies and individuals who receive money from the District. Brent Blackhall was concerned about privacy concerns, to which Kasper noted, “We’re in the age of transparency.”
SOFI has already been sent off, and Council will receive it for discussion at the July 11 meeting.
Reports from Mayor and Council were made
Public Correspondence received