Transition Sooke cautions the District of Sooke to slow down its growth if it wants to meet its climate emergency goals. The group has developed a growth scenario that is markedly different from those developed for the District by Dialog consulting as part of the official community plan (OCP) process.
“The three growth scenarios (A, B, and C) offered by Dialog for consideration by the public rely on a continuing high growth rate,” said Transition Sooke Board Member Alan Dolan.
Transition Sooke developed a Scenario D to focus on low carbon and low growth. Scenario D allocates most of the low growth in the Town Centre of Sooke. It envisions a combination of subsidized, affordable, zero-energy housing, independent and local commercial businesses, and lots of access to the ocean for the community to enjoy. A small amount of growth would be allocated to other parts of the District.
“The Sooke housing needs study concluded that Sooke needs more affordable housing and recent economic analysis indicated that Sooke needs more local-based businesses,” said Dolan. “That’s why we have focused a small amount of growth in those two areas.”
Transition Sooke submitted its Low Carbon/Low Growth Scenario D to the District’s OCP Advisory Committee and copied three other committees of Council — Climate Change Action, Land Use and Development, and Community Economic Development.
“One of the really exciting outcomes of aggressively addressing climate change in our community,” said Dolan, “is that many of the things residents say they would like to have in Sooke — ‘small-town feel,’ natural landscapes, healthy local economy, and access to the waterfront — can be achieved through a low carbon, low growth approach.
Transition Sooke is a citizen-based, volunteer, a public-interest group focused on co-creating a sustainable, resilient and secure community that meets the challenges of the climate emergency in the Sooke region.