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Ten townhouses coming to Ayre Road — 19 Comments

  1. we have a 25 person plus wait for afortable housing for a senior and years and years waiting list for low income they have loads of people in need of afortable housing its riduculas

  2. I drive Ayre Manor everyday to see my dad. The person (s) are concerned about parking and ambulance? Give your head a shake people already park on the rd…
    I do believe something should be done NOW about parking and that rd… especially making a left turn off Ayre Manor onto Otterpoint. People park in front of that daycare blocking your view of oncoming traffic.

    • Ebsco, what’s misleading? The title is ten townhouses coming to ayre road. That seems pretty straight forward.

      Do you mean the fb intro? That seems pretty accurate too. The article says the district is getting $5K in lieu of affordable housing, and I followed the link to the district doc which also says $5K in-lieu.

      Or, are you adopting the new political tactic of crying “fake news” when you don’t like what you read, however factual it may be? I don’t know you, but I had in my head that you were above that.

      I think Kasper was right it at the earlier meeting (also in the article) where he said it makes more sense to have the developer provide the affordable housing. But none of you guys supported him. Too bad.

  3. Density in the town core increases the viability of local Sooke businesses, makes Sooke more walkable and decreases reliance on cars. A shame that an affordable suite was not in this plan…I would like to hear ideas of how the accumulating fund will be used.

    • Rick Kasper. Kerrie Deines Reay. Brenda Parkinson. Bev Berger. Maja Tait. Ebony Logins. Kevin Pearson

      Hi guys!
      I really do hold y’all in the highest respect, and thanks so much for being awesome leaders/decision-makers in our wonderful growing town!

      Sorry but, I can’t be quiet with this one.

      When I lived in Langford, 12-ish years ago, I was eligible for buying one of the ‘at cost’ homes by a developer. 10% of a developer’s homes had to be sold as such in Langford. (I could have bought a basic single family house for $150,000! I wound up not following through….personal reasons)

      In a nutshell, the contractor had (and still does? Not sure…) to build and sell 10% of the homes ‘at cost’. And sold along with fancy low-mortgage arrangements (from CMHC, I believe). The idea was to help get working low-income people a much easier chance of getting into the real estate market. Then after several years, to be able to sell and get into a bigger home with a traditional mortgage. Great program, esp. for young working families! Not a hand-out…..just a helping hand up! Different financially, but basically similar goal as Habitat for Humanity.

      The policy upset builders in Langford, but they pulled up their socks, played with their budgets, and made it work! There are plenty of ways to ethically cut financial corners when house building, and still have a quality house built! Some of the contractors in Langford who I use to paint for were fair, yet crafty…..usually getting compassionate deals from sub-trades for these homes (I was one of ’em)
      – Lino instead of tile.
      – Laminate instead of hardwood.
      – One paint colour instead of five.
      – Regular appliances instead of ‘stainless steel’ etc etc etc.
      – Seed instead of sod.
      – no rock work
      – no landscaping

      I could go on…..

      There is enough net profit from any development to allow 10% sold at cost. Yes, house building can be financially risky, but the honest and smart ones I know are, well, quite well off!

      I actually had no idea Sooke had such a policy until I read this article, and this Sooke District paperwork from 2007.

      I also have no idea how this is applied (if at all?) in Sunriver. Or Bear Mountain.

      So, in conclusion, the $5000 collected in lieu of this Arye rd developer selling one unit at cost, isn’t enough. That one unit could have been a huge financial step-up opportunity for a Sooke family…..with a probable value of half a house!

      If the deal is signed, well, it is what it is.
      Next developer to propose something big in Sooke, please consider the true value of the 10% sold at cost to local eligible families. Worth waaaaaaay more than $5000!


      Ps no reply needed. Just please keep all this in mind for ‘next time’!

  4. On the subject of affordable housing I agree with all the comments here and am as frustrated as you are. Most of these decisions are done internally between staff and the applicant, signed and sealed in a back room with no opportunity for public input or comment. I don’t think that’s the right way to go.
    The majority of this Council feels that there is too much bureaucracy, red tape and unnecessary regulation in Sooke that gets in the way of affordable housing. Our processes are long overdue for a major overhaul. Our current Official Community Plan (OCP) is one of the major barriers to a streamlined process to deliver all types of affordable housing. A few steps have been taken to address this, mainly the current update of the OCP. We also got rid of the amenity policy that was not being implemented properly. Now we are waiting for the new development committee to get established to hopefully create some dialogue and drive change.
    I recently attended a region-wide forum on affordable housing. There were 184 registered participants from local governments, non profits, rental housing, for profit and market housing. Speakers from non profit and for profit all said that municipalities have systems in place that cause time delays and add huge costs. These are the things that have to be changed before affordable housing becomes a reality.
    In Sooke, the District’s internal operating practices that have been going on for many years also create roadblocks. Delays drive up prices and create restrictions on availability. I can tell you this has been very frustrating for this Council. One of our own Council members couldn’t even find suitable housing in Sooke!
    One example of unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy is the District’s referral process – something I have been advocating to change for many years. For rezoning, OCP amendments, subdivision and development permits our process requires referral (at each of these steps in some cases) to a host of different agencies and organizations. Most of these are not legally required and create major delays. The referral process creates more work for limited staff and each referral delays an application by 30 days. The District refers all land use change applications to 18 different agencies and organizations such as Telus, Shaw Cable, Fortis BC, RCMP, SEAPARC, BC Hydro, Canada Post, BC Transit, CRD Water, Ministry of Transportation and Highways, etc. Recently, a property was getting downzoned from a higher use and density to a much lower zone. That rezoning application was sent out to all of these different agencies for comment. Really? Why would any of these agencies care about a downzoning? There was no impact on any of those services and it was still referred. Our development permit process is also onerous and goes well beyond provincial requirements – again, another time waster and added cost.
    The sad reality is that the problem is getting worse and will continue to get worse if we don’t stop dragging our butts and get it fixed. The majority of Council has raised this and supports change but it has taken far too long to get to this point. If you have ideas to help support more affordable housing in Sooke please raise your concerns at a Council meeting, write to us at mayorandcouncil@sooke.ca or feel free to give me a call 250 642 5919.

    • Ok, thanks Rick Kasper for the explanation! I’ve saved your number.

      Tell you what. The next time a developer makes a new proposal for a good sized development in Sooke, and if they are legally required to provide 10% as ‘affordable’ housing, and they (or the Council) are complaining about too much ‘red tape’, then please call me. 250-920-6428
      I’ll gather a team of Sooke volunteers (admin. types and construction types) and come and talk to Council, and we’ll make it happen.
      Same thing if you guys ever get approached by Habitat for Humanity for permission to build in Sooke.