The Legion’s application for rezoning, which would allow them to function more as a pub and shift away from being solely membership based, passed the third and final reading at Monday’s Regular Council Meeting.
At issue was not the application itself. That cleared at all levels. Support came from the Sooke Seniors Diamond Jubilee Housing Society represented by Sandy Jarvis (though she did ask that their few parking spaces at 6724 Eustace Road be carefully reserved for their exclusive use), from the Sooke Community Association (owners of the Sooke Community Hall), and Denwood Holdings Ltd (the owners of 2076 Otter Point Road, formerly known as the Sooke Trading Post).
At issue was quorum. To have a meeting, quorum must be met, meaning there must be four elected officials in the room at all times. On this matter, Councillor Parkinson declared a potential conflict of interest, as she is a member and actively participates on their Poppy Committee. The acting CAO noted that Sooke bylaws allow for one Councillor to attend by phone, so Bev Berger was called and attended this portion of the meeting on speaker phone.
In presenting the application, staff noted the application fits nicely with the use of the town core. The existing building will not change at this time, nor will the current parking. Recent changes to liquor licensing will allow them to function as a pub, provided the zoning change is approved by the District. The Legion’s application fits with the OCP’s direct to contribute Sooke’s sense of history and sense of place. Read their full application here.
During the public hearing and Councillor input, the following matters were discussed.
- The applicant will (probably) still have to go through the province for a revised liquor licence to support this changed use (from membership based to pub).
- This does not put Gatewood Road on a higher priority.
- Parking is adequately dealt with, as they are allowed a certain percentage of public parking (street parking) and those numbers have been met.
- The Legion will continue to function as a non-profit.
- Their new pub status will have to be considered by Council during the annual Exemptions review, and the Legion will be expected to prove their continued non-profit status at that time.
Third reading carried unanimously.
Present (for this section):
Mayor Maja Tait, and Councillors Ebony Logins, and Rick Kasper. Bev Berger was called and attended this portion by phone
Absent (for this section):
Councillors Brenda Parkinson, Kerrie Reay, and Kevin Pearson
- Sooke Legion clears zoning hurdle and is on its way to becoming a pub
- Sooke is once again in the position to hire a CAO