Sooke, A Compassionate and Growing Community (Monthly Mayoral Message: February)

Friday, February 5, 2021 – Sooke, as a Compassionate City, it is our practice to promote understanding and acceptance as a haven of peace, wellbeing and caring for each other. As a Compassionate City, we respect differing views, exploring commonalities and building friendships.

The District of Sooke recognizes the United Nations’ declaration for the People of African Descent and proudly join communities across Canada in marking Black History Month. As a time for listening and learning, I invite you to share in this year’s virtual celebration through the Issamba Centre at issambacentre.ca. I was honoured to receive an invitation to participate in this event and to share a few words about Sooke as a Compassionate City.

With patience and compassion, the community endured a significant windstorm last month. Sooke Fire responded to 33 calls in 12-hours and our parks crews are continuing with the clean up several weeks later. Their efforts were combined with numerous others. I would like to again acknowledge Sooke RCMP, BC Hydro, Victoria Contracting, EMCON Services and the Capital Regional District for the collaboration with the community to respond to this weather event.

Responding is what the District is doing to traffic concerns. Immediate action has been taken to implement the Transportation Master Plan, approved in October 2020. 2021 Capital Projects include the Church Road Corridor, Otter Point Road Corridor, EV Charging Station at Eustace and the Brailsford Place Connection. For updates on these projects, please visit the District website.

Funding for these projects is described in the 2021-2025 five-year Financial Plan, which Council adopted on January 11th.

Other projects underway include the development of a multi-sports box in Sunriver and through Planning Services, District Staff are working on applications for 2182 Church Road, 2170 Charters Road and 2075 Drennan Street.

The Public Hearing for 2182 Church Road concluded at the December 14, 2020 Council meeting. The Property Owner will enter into covenants to address parkland dedication and construction, road dedication and construction, secure public use of strata greenspace, frontage improvements, servicing requirements, a pedestrian-activated signalized crosswalk, statutory rights-of-way, park maintenance and other necessary works and services – so there will be more to come on this item. Please visit the District’s website for the latest information.

Additionally, Development Permits have been issued for 2170 Charters Road and 2075 Drennan Street. These projects are being implemented by BC Housing and M’akola Housing Society, and respond to the need for affordable and diversified housing options in Sooke.

As we plan land use and development in Sooke, I would like to remind the community that the District is currently reviewing its Official Community Plan (OCP). The OCP guides land use and development. Land use and development impact many aspects of daily life from the types of housing available, how we get around the community and what amenities are available to enjoy. We, as a community, need to ensure that the goals and objectives remain relevant in our OCP and we need you involved to do so. The District has recently launched picturesooke.ca to make it easier for the community to join the conversation. Visit the site, subscribe for updates, share your thoughts, and hear what other residents are saying.

From March 5th to April 2nd, Picture Sooke will highlight three different growth scenarios. The District is looking to learn what you like and do not like about each. We want you to Picture Sooke with us. Please help spread the word and invite your friends and neighbours to participate.

Staying informed is one way for us to stay connected, especially while we continue to navigate COVID-19 and follow the Provincial Health Orders. You may have already received your copy of The Sooke Spotlight. This print newsletter will be delivered to households and businesses in Sooke quarterly. Electronic newsletters are delivered monthly and I will also continue to provide these Mayoral updates the first week of each month. To sign up for electronic mailing lists, please visit sooke.ca > online services > subscribe.

For residents who have limited computer access, please reach out to District staff by phoning 250.642.1634. They are happy to assist you with your queries and keep you informed.

Stay well, Sooke.

Kindest regards,

Mayor Maja Tait

The District of Sooke is within the Coast Salish territory, on the lands of the T’Sou-ke and Sc’ianew (Cheanuh) First Nations. The word T’Sou-ke is the name of the Stickleback fish found in the estuary of the Sooke River in the SENCOTEN language of the T’Sou-ke Nation. The anglicized name of T’Sou-ke is Sooke.

Mayor Tait provides monthly statements highlighting current District of Sooke activities.

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