At the regular District of Sooke council meeting on May 14, KPMG presented the audited financial statements to council. One area the auditor from KPMG talked about was the district’s $5.9 million in financial liabilities. He said this is very typical of municipal borrowing for infrastructure and it will move to a more positive position over time.
• Bylaw No. 525
Council gave third reading to Bylaw 525, Zoning Amendment Bylaw for property at 1836 Tominny Road. Coun. Kevin Pearson left the meeting. The applicant requested a change from R1 to CD12. The application is for two dwelling units and commercial use on a separate building on one lot and a later conversion of the commercial building to a third dwelling unit on the same 907 sq. metre lot. The property contained a restrictive covenant which was removed.
• Bylaws No. 519, 520
Council gave third reading to Bylaw 519, Zoning Amendment and released Covenant EX97394 and authorized a covenant restricting secondary suites at Nott Brook, 2100 Otter Point Road. The developer plans to build 127 seniors’ oriented residences on the 8.17 hectare (20.18 acre) property which was part of the former golf course. The phased development would take 10 years.
A couple of residents expressed concerns over loss of green space and traffic density going into Victoria.
Council sent back to staff a request for a Development Variance Permit for 6215 Marilyn Road. The item was tabled as more information was needed. Coun. Herb Haldane left the meeting.
The applicant was wanting to vary the setback distance on rear lot line from 15m to 0.8m. The property is being used as a recycling depot for styrofoam, plastics and other recyclables. The property is zoned Heavy Industrial (M3). Questions arose as to the portability of a building along the property line which has a concrete foundation but is not considered a permanent structure. The owner said he was told by district staff that he did not require a building permit for a project under $50,000.
Council and staff will look at options suitable to both parties.
• Council gave first and second reading to Bylaw No. 521, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (500-4) and a Development Variance Permit for Talc Place Park.
Concerns arose about the selling price of a parcel of the former park. It was sold for $11,000 which some felt was far below the current market price for a piece of property.
The park disposition went through an Alternative Approval Process in 2010 and the park was decommissioned and rezoned.
Coun. Kevin Pearson stated that this whole issue was giving him heartburn. He said it should “not be in front of us for rezoning.” He said he didn’t know what the solution would be but he didn’t feel right about selling things at an undervalued price.
“My position as a representative for the taxpayer of Sooke is to get fair value of the land,” he said.
David Gawley, acting financial director, said it was close to or at market value according to BC Assessment.
Coun. Herb Haldane said the new zoning bylaw made this property non-conforming (November 2011). He said they did not have to agree to a variance but they had made an agreement and it would be unfair not to sell it for the price agreed upon.
“They didn’t set the price at $11,000. We have to stand by that,” he said.
Mayor Wendal Milne said it was “troubling.”
“Is it fair market value? — I don’t know.”
A Public Hearing will be scheduled.
• Bylaw No. 527, Fire Protection Amendment Bylaw. Council gave first, and second reading to Bylaw 527 but tabled third reading to the end of May when the test case of expanded burning days ends.
• Bylaw No. 518, Zoning Amendment Bylaw, Knox Centre
Council rescinded adoption of Bylaw No. 518 and directed staff to obtain Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure approval. This bylaw will be brought back before council at a future meeting. There was a procedural error in the zoning.
• Bylaw No. 522, 523
Council adopted Bylaw 522, Five Year Financial Plan and Bylaw 523, Property Tax Rate Bylaw.
• Bylaw No. 524 Zoning Amendment Bylaw
Council adopted Bylaw 524 which deletes the minimum lot size requirement for secondary suites in Small Lot Residential Zones and adds small suites as a permitted use in Small Scale Agricultural Zone for lands not in the ALR.
• Bylaw No. 528, Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 7044 Maple Park Terrace (Spiritwood Estates).
Council gave first and second reading to Bylaw 528 which will see new site plan, removal of conceptual sewer alignment, eliminating Area B1, allow for the sale of loose gravel not needed on site. A Public Hearing will be scheduled.
Council adopted a video surveillance policy which will not necessarily put cameras into place, but will outline guidelines for their use.
Mayor Milne said it had to do with security of municipal staff. The part of the policy that met with comments was the list of individuals who would have access to the information.
Neither Councillors Bev Berger or Herb Haldane felt cameras were warranted.