Much attention was focused on the District’s recent acquisition of Lot A.
Carol Pinalski had many questions about the purchase, including questions about the purchase, agreements with the Library, and engineering assessments. Mayor Tait assured her that it would be addressed in her opening statement at the Council meeting, as the mayor would make a opening statement regarding the property.
Herb Haldane, who was once contracted to clean the property, noted that if remediated, this piece of land could see a value as high as $1 million to $1.5 million per acre. He noted there was a ditch running through the property, and that beneath about two feet of organic matter (soil) is a solid clay bed. This is good for construction. He recommended clear communications, noting that a press release stating the facts would clear up any misinformation circulating on social media.
Ellen Lewers felt that the work prepared by the Community Spaces was completely disregarded by Council. They were recommending a space along Otter Point Road, between Eustace and Ayre. The mayor noted that the report came forward after the District had purchased the property; Lewers felt that it was no secret that Community Spaces was recommending something different.
Other community concerns were presented by community members include a public access to the Sooke River, presented by Terrence Martin. He had written a letter to Council, but it did not appear in the Correspondence section of the agenda. He noted that three things generally make a park: close parking, covered areas for eating, and a fence. There is a road currently on the property which has not been included in development plans. He noted that if there were to be a road, this is the only place it could be.
Herb Haldane noted that the land title act requires that you give water access to waterways. The idea is to give the public access to the water.
Britt Santowski spoke to misinformation currently appearing on Councillor Bev Berger’s Facebook account. Berger stated that SPN did not take the time to get input from staff or Council. Santowski pointed out that the article itself states that both staff and council were contacted, and that after four days not even an acknowledgement had been sent.