Sooke Lions’ Seeking Input on Community Multi-Use Facility Proposal

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 – Public are invited to provide input on a proposed multi-use space at John Phillips Memorial Park at a Town Hall event on Sunday, September 25th and through an online survey available after the event, closing on October 10th, 2022.

“The Sooke Lions are in service to our community and are looking to better understand what type of facility and related amenities could best meet the needs of Sooke,” said Sooke Lion, Danny Willis. “Our members will be on hand to answer resident questions and address concerns about the potential project.”

The District has not entered into a lease arrangement with the Sooke Lions, as we continue to seek input from the community. “We need to understand more about the proposal before we can make a decision,” said Mayor Maja Tait.

After an alternative approval process was undertaken by the District last year and yielded 9.13% vote against leasing land to the Lions, not far from the required 10% vote needed to reject the proposal, District Council is giving careful thought to their decision. Likewise, the Sooke Lions want to ensure the project is in the best interest of the community.

The proposed project aligns with existing zoning, which is Public Recreation (P1). The permitted uses vary widely with primary uses that include ecosystem preservation, institutional uses accessory to public parks, a nature centre and playground (to name a few); accessory uses that include concession, country market and parking lot (among others).

“Since 2005 there have been numerous conversations about optimizing the use of John Phillips Memorial Park while also respecting the park ecology,” said Mayor Maja Tait in a release last month. “We have a reputable community organization looking to establish a not-for-profit society to oversee a multi-use community facility, including its construction and management, in a growing community that needs program and event spaces,” Tait added.

The event will take place at the Sooke Community Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 25th, 2022, with a complementary information station in the park at the same time. A survey will be available at the event and online (after the event), until October 10, 2022 at letstalk.sooke.ca/lionsproposal.

The Sooke Lions will present their findings from this round of community engagement to District Council later this year. Should the project proceed, the District of Sooke would purchase the Sooke Lions’ property at 2008 Murray Road, using the Park Reserve Fund to retain this space as a town core park.

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