Sooke resident Gail Hall went before Council at the November 27 Regular Council meeting to express concerns about increased traffic and a lack of parking on Sooke River Road.
Sooke River Road is becoming increasingly traveled, Hall noted, adding that the safety of pedestrians was the responsibility of the District.
In presenting a solution, she reminded Council that the District had purchased a 13.8 acre property on Sooke River Road across the road from the Fred Milne fields for $765,000. That property was in the Agricultural Land Reserve, though Hall noted that it wasn’t very fertile and could probably be removed from the ALR.
If that land is to become a parking lot, she asked that the District (and thereby the taxpayers) do not pick up the bill.
Further, the funding to purchase that piece of land came from the Park Reserve Fund, said Hall. Therefore Sooke should either turn it into a park or put the money back into the Park Reserve Fund. Reserve Funds are established for specified purposes, and funds within a Reserve Fund are considered restricted and not available for other uses.
Hall was also concerned that a covenant tied to that land appears to have been ignored; however, given the five minute restriction, she said, there was not enough time to review that.
Acting mayor Kevin Pearson noted it’s been talked of “on and off” for seven years. The CAO noted that at one point the District had made an application for alternate use to the ALR, but that request was declined.
Regular Council Meeting Details:
Present: Councillor Kevin Pearson was acting mayor; Councillors Brenda Parkinson, Bev Berger, Ebony Logins, and Kerrie Reay.
Absent: Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, Councillor Rick Kasper.
Other items from this meeting:
- Staff comment suggests massive sewer costs to be born by the District
- Sooke Fire Department welcomes two new career fire fighters
- Sooke resident calls for action on Sooke River Road parking
- Sooke bears new designation: The Smoked Salmon Capital of Canada
- Housing challenges for Sooke construction workers now; affordability committee can happen in Feb or March 2018