January 7, 2022 – As the first week of the new year comes to a close, we reflect on the last 12-months and prepare for the year ahead. We are reminded of what a remarkable year 2021 was, just see for yourself as we capture a few of the stories from the year below!
Many thanks to residents, team members and numerous partners who support the District as we work towards our vision – being an inclusive, healthy, and self-sufficient community where the rainforest meets the sea.
- King Tides greeted us, leaving significant debris at Whiffin Spit. District Parks staff and contractors tended to the popular park to maintain access
- Of note, once again, tides are rolling in and the public is reminded to expect the trail to function as a nature trail for most of the season until enhanced maintenance can be completed in full after the winter weather and hide tides ease, read more >>
- Sooke is recognized as one of the most resilient communities in British Columbia
- BC Housing announces two new projects coming to Sooke!
- Council adopts “low carbon resilience” as defined by the Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiatives as the District of Sooke’s definition of green lens/climate first
- District receives BC Hydro Community Regreening Grant.
- Trees will be planted in Pond’s Park Corridor, the future home of the Stickleback Dog Park (named for its location on the Stickleback Urban Trail); Winfield Park, home to an ecologically sensitive wetland and; DeMamiel Creek Park, a current green space located at 2410 Sunriver Way.
- District launches a new online community engagement platform: Let’s Talk Sooke. Residents can ask questions, stay up to date on community projects and initiatives, and join conversations with neighbours.
- $88,925 in funding are issued to 24 local organizations through the DIstrict’s Community Grants Program
- District consults on Development Cost Charges (DCC) Bylaw
- The DCC Bylaw has received three readings and the District is currently awaiting approval from the province before the new bylaw will be adopted and come into effect.
- Residents encouraged to sign up for new Emergency Alert Notification System
- District recognizes seven new firefighter recruits
- BC Housing announces construction beginning on 170 homes for a wide range of people with varying incomes
- School District 62 Signs Memorandum of Understanding (MOIU) with Colwood, Langford and Sooke
- Ground was broken on the building of a community multi-use sports box at 2430 Phillip Road.
- The facility, which will be operated by SEAPARC is currently anticipated to open in spring 2022.
- Purple Martin Nesting Boxes are installed thanks to community collaboration
- Woodside Farm honoured for 100 years of agriculture in BC
- District received $4.6 million in funding to expand wastewater treatment system
- District announces Alternative Approval Process for leasing land within John Phillips Memorial Park for the development of a community multi-use facility
- At the September 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting, Council moved to direct staff to bring back a report containing the lease details, the Development Permit process and options for further engagement. To stay informed on this project, as information becomes available, please subscribe to the applicable electronic mailing list.
- District receives $1.8 million for Otter Point Road Active Transportation Corridor Project
- First Draft of (new) Official Community Plan (OCP) presented to Council for information, before proceeding to public engagement
- T’Sou-ke First Nation Flag is raised at municipal hall – marking the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
- The community comes together to Celebrate Sooke!
- Community Consultation on the Draft OCP begins, continuing to October 17, 2021
- Through a Career Launcher Program Grant, the District hires a Climate Action Coordinator, Maia Carolsfield.
- LISTEN to this Capital Daily Podcast to hear about Maia’s work with the District
- Stay tuned! On Earth Day 2022, the community will be invited to come together for the launch of the “7% solution”. You’ll discover tools and resources to help you become richer in time, savings and more!
- District seeks resident input on FireSmart program development, thanks to funding from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and their (UBCM) FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund grant.
- To learn what we heard and how we are responding to your input, please visit letstalk.sooke.ca/firesmart.
- A regional collaboration – Sooke, Port Renfrew, Malahat and Langford Tourism Collection Form and launch the Spirit Loop
- New Backyard Burning Bylaw comes into effect
- Heavy rains cause significant flooding. The District sandbag station opens and resident comes together to support each other during the weather event.
- Bluffs Staircase Reopened
- Brailsford Connection Opens
- Construction begins on the Stickleback Dog Park in Pond’s Park Corridor, named for its location on the Stickleback Urban Trail
- The facility will include fencing, surfacing, garbage bin, dog waste receptacle, pet and person water fountain, signage and gazebo. A soft opening is anticipated in winter 2022. After the gazebo is installed, spring 2022, an opening event will take place.
- CRD Regional Parks signs license agreement with Sooke Bike Club
- Residents in Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin Neighbourhoods are asked to complete potential waste water services expansion survey
- Property owners are asked to complete the neighbourhood-specific survey for the area where they reside. Completed surveys can be returned in person, by mail, email to wwplanning[at]sooke.ca or by phone at 250.642.1634 by January 10, 2022. Surveys can also be completed online at letstalk.sooke.ca/wwplanning.
- Revised Draft OCP is presented to the OCP Advisory Committee
- After the OCP Advisory Committee makes a recommendation to Council to proceed with making the Draft Plan into a Bylaw, the first reading (introduction) of the OCP Bylaw will take place
- After the first reading, Council will discuss the OCP Bylaw in principle (second reading) before it proceeds to a public hearing
- After the public hearing, public input on the OCP Bylaw will close
- Council will then have a final discussion on the OCP Bylaw, including any changes made along the way (third reading)
- After the third reading, the OCP BYlaw will proceed to adoption
- Council adopts five-year financial plan
- Note: resources and service levels for the calendar (also our fiscal) year are allocated based on the approved budget, which is developed through community input, staff recommendations, strategic planning and, ultimately, decisions made by Council
- Your voices informed 2022 budget development with projects identified for 2022 to include:
- Roundabout at Church Road/Throup Road;
- Rural Road Paving Project (Connie and Manzer);
- New bus shelter on Otter Point with electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
- Continuation of major road work design including conceptual planning of the Otter Point/Wadams Roundabout/Realignment Project; Charters Road coordinator; Phillips Road Corridor; Throup Road Connection;
- Master Traffic Impact Analysis Study;
- Employment Lands Strategy and;
- Whiffin Spit and Town Centre Parks Master Planning.
- Timelines for these projects will be shared, once available, through the District website and at letstalk.sooke.ca.
- Learn more about the budget, including the 2022 Budget Brief, 2022-2026 Five Year Financial Plan (Consolidated Summary) and 2022 Capital Projects at letstalk.sooke.ca/budget.
- Citizen Budget and Service Level Review for 2023 is tentatively scheduled for June 15-July 15, 2022