A public hearing was held regarding a zoning amendment that would allow for a seven-home development to be built along Otter Point Road, just north of Foreman Heights Drive.
On person spoke at the public hearing. Jim Spafford , neighbour to the proposed development, spoke in opposition to the rezoning. His family has lived there since 1968. They previously owned the land in question and at one point subdivided it and sold it. The proponent later noted that the current owners have owned the land since 1976. Jim said they moved out here to get away from the subdivision style neighbourhood. He’s not thrilled about having seven new neighbourhood homes because of the noise and pollution, and was also not happy about the prospect looking out of his window and seeing a new development next door. See the email they submitted to Council for consideration at the public hearing.
The conversation was then turned over to Council.
Councillor Jeff Bateman would not be supporting this application. As far as he was concerned, there are enough housing projects planned in Sooke. He felt that upzoning to seven would be too much, too fast, too soon.
Councillor Al Beddows disagreed, saying that their job is to deal with the “here and now.” An official community plan (OCP) is in place, and it will be three years before another is finalized. Seven houses for this size of property is a reasonable proposition. The setbacks are good.
Councillor Tony St-Pierre noted that the strategic plan was in progress, but the OCP notes that the property is in a currently-identified growth areas. (A strategic plan provides a direction for council for the current term). With an eye on the environment, he added that they need to be looking at adding EV stations anytime they consider these neighbourhoods. St-Pierre also noted that the applicant tripled their contribution to affordable housing.
Mayor Maja Tait noted that until a new OCP is adopted, the existing one prevails. The CRD has agreed to the water plan proposed for the project. Septic fields will be installed. Stopping all development until there’s a new OCP is not logical. She supports the spectrum of housing. The neighbour has legitimate concerns about the noise in the past.
The motion to give third (final) reading to the zoning amendment was moved by Councillor Megal McMath and seconded by Councillor Ebony Logins. With Councillor Bateman opposed, the motion carried.
Present: Mayor Maja Tait, and Councillors Al Beddows, Megan McMath, Tony St-Pierre, Ebony Logins, and Jeff Bateman. Councillor Brenda Parkinson was unable to attend.