If you think there’s no point in speaking up, think again. One voice can indeed make a difference.
At the regular Council meeting held on Monday, January 28, 2019, Sooke’s elected officials were all ready to vote to support a variance request, allowing for the construction of a garage at 7214 Austins Place to slightly impede a 3 meter offset. The land owner lives in an unusual shaped land, and the variance would have allowed for ideal vehicle access.
After discussing the height and configuration of the garage, a motion to allow the variance was moved by Councillor St-Pierre and seconded by Councillor Beddows.
Then, Councillor Parkinson noticed someone in the galley who wanted to speak. With the Public Input section of the meeting done, Parkinson requested that the motion be withdrawn and that the person could speak. Council agreed. They withdrew the motion and invited Ms. Jean Lister, a senior citizen, to speak.
Ms. Lister spoke on behalf of herself and her sister who is blind. She said their house was specifically designed to see the ocean. This garage, she said, will cut off the view, adding that that land owner already has a double garage. Her property was purchased with the view in mind, and she suggested that their property value will drop as a result of this garage, as it impedes their principle view.
Staff noted that if the variance is not approved, they will shift the plan slightly and then build anyway. St-Pierre noted that the view will be ruined no matter what, and that the owner of the oddly shaped lot will still going to move forward with the building.
Ms. Lister had submitted a letter Council on the matter, but it appears as if her in-person presentation may have changed at least some minds on Council.
Councillor McMath made the motion that they don’t issue the variance, which was seconded by Beddows.
That second motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Maja Tait Acting Mayor Jeff Bateman, Councillors Al Beddows, Ebony Logins, Megan McMath, Brenda Parkinson and Tony St-Pierre.
Also discussed at that Council meeting
- Sooke RCMP statistics for January, 2019
- One voice may have changed Council’s mind on a variance matter
- Sooke submits “non-concurrence” for second Freedom Mobility cell tower application
- Council approves memorial plaque for Cam Sullivan
- One single business (who the Gatewood Residential rezoning wasn’t about) has until the end of Feb to apply
- Council remuneration kicked down the timeline, again
- Sooke RCMP Report sees increases in sexual assaults and vandalism