Town Hall Success
About 40 people attended Transition Sooke’s virtual Town Hall — To Grow or Not to Grow, Developing a Liveable Sooke in a Climate Emergency — on Saturday June 26.
Residents Respond to "Growing Pains"
The Town Hall began with the video “Growing Pains,” which featured Sooke residents talking about their community and the impacts of growth on it. Participants then went into small groups to talk about the film, growth in Sooke, and what to do about it. Discussion was lively, participants were full of ideas, and attendance included several members of the District of Sooke’s advisory committees and two councillors.
There is a link to the video on the Transition Sooke website and full proceedings will be available soon.
Weighing in on Eustace Road Development
Transition Sooke is very concerned about a proposed shopping plaza for the property at 6783 Eustace Road.
“The owners are likely banking on the rapid future growth of Sooke,” said Transition Sooke’s Alan Dolan, “but our analysis shows that continued rapid growth is not sustainable and will make it impossible for Sooke to meet its climate change targets and align with residents’ vision of a small town close to fields, forests and the ocean.”
In a recent study commissioned by Sooke, Colliers estimated that Sooke could experience a demand for retail space of an additional 18,035 square feet by 2030. The proposed plaza, which is fronted by US-based Mid America Venture Capital, features large blocks of retail space including a grocery store for a total of 140,000 square feet.
“Why does Sooke need so much retail space including a third grocery store?” said Transition Sooke’s Roland Alcock. “Specialty food stores or ‘mini-markets’ featuring locally grown agricultural and value-added products would be more appropriate.”
“This retail proposal is designed to attract franchises and ‘small box’ stores,” said Alcock, “and that means money leaving our community. We need to support existing and new ‘made-in-Sooke’ businesses that create local jobs and keep money in Sooke.”
The above is extracted from a news release that generated widespread media coverage including on CHEK-TV and CBC-Radio.
For more information, visit Transition Sooke’s Local Economy Working Group page.
Towards a Local Economy
Alan and Jo made a short presentation to the June 25 Community Economic Development Committee meeting titled: Towards a Local Economy for Sooke.”
The Community Economic Development (CED) officer Sue Welke is building a CED strategy with the committee and intends to have it before Council by October or November. Transition Sooke hopes that some of our ideas will find their way into the strategy.
Public engagement on the strategy should appear on the District website in July. This is your chance to add to the list of possible CED actions. Be sure to watch the District website for when and how those public engagements might take place.
Thanks to Zero-Waste Sooke for submitting the idea of a recycling/circular waste incubator space. It's now on the CED action list.
If you want to know more about the CED Committee, Jo took notes during its meeting and they can be found on the Transition Sooke web page along with all of our other "watch-dog" reports.