Sooke Harbour: News:
Huge marina hotel complex proposed for Sooke Harbour
Sooke News Mirror
July 20, 2005
pirjo raits photo
stretch of Sooke Harbour is the subject of a proposed hotel and
marina complex. The plans for the potential of 79 housing units,
boat slips and more is already in front of Sooke council members.
Plans for a proposed destination marine
resort on the site of Sooke Harbour Marina drew concerns from
District of Sooke council during a presentation by principals
involved in the development on July 11.
A destination marine resort appealing to
the global tourist is the vision of developers aiming to build
quarter-share residential units at the site currently occupied by
Sooke Harbour Marina.
Council raised concerns over the
density, displacement of local boaters, parking, ocean views,
walkways and the building plans.
In a discussion report prepared for
council, staff stated the density appeared to be very dense with the
potential for 79 units, well above the permitted density of 34
Councillor George O'Briain asked whether
the developers were intending to make each of the units capable of
being divided into two thereby increasing the density of each of the
Robert Rocheleau, director of Praxis Architects Inc. stated that
only two of the units would be lock offs.
The biggest concern voiced by council
was the displacement of current marina users and the lack of
launching facilities from the easily accessible site.
Of the current 130 slips, 35 would be
used exclusively by the resort's residents with the remainder
available for weekly and monthly rental. The marina would not allow
trailer parking for members of the public who would use the boat
launch. Parking would be only for residents of the resort.
"The principle purpose is fishing, the
existing facility is underdeveloped," said Rocheleau. "The boat ramp
would be kept open to the community of Sooke."
Councillor John Stephen was concerned
that if access was decreased or cut-off an economic source to the
community would be lost.
"I wonder where people from other parts of Southern Vancouver Island
would put their trailers, I see this as becoming restrictive," said
The developer stated that boat trailer
parking was not the best use of the land and to ask them to provide
this would be a limited benefit as they were bringing in a captive
audience (in tourists).
Mayor Janet Evans stated that this was
private property and the public could be shut out.
The plans for the walkway on the waterfront show it to be 3m while
Councillor George O'Briain suggested a 10m walkway would be more
appropriate. He also felt there might not be adequate parking for
tenants if they had two vehicles.
Parking for public boat trailers would
not be permitted at the resort and users of the boat launch would be
required to remove their trailers and bring them back at the end of
the day to load their boats.
Councillor Lorna Barry had an issue with
the flat roofs on the units, the blank walls on the buildings and
The development would see 34
quarter-share investment units built on the 2.81-acre site. The
units would be between 1,100 and 1,350 sq. ft. with the potential
for lock-offs in at least two of the units.
Plans also include a commercial support
area catering to guests and the marina, providing staff laundry,
whale watching offices, a convenience store and an area for fish
cleaning and storage.
There will be a control booth at the
entry, two hot tubs and a barbeque area near dockside.
Developer and investor Tim Touround is involved in a similar resort,
Big Horn Meadows at Radium Hot Springs.
Also in attendance at council was Peter
Kelly, head of capital development and Adrian Small.
The resort would potentially generate approximately $100,000 in
property taxes to the District of Sooke, while maintaining the
ambiance of Sooke Harbour said Rocheleau.
"We would be selling Sooke, the beauty of Sooke, the beauty of the
ocean," he said.
The next step in the process will be reviewing revised drawings from
the developers and architect.
If the drawings are adequate and meet
the concerns, a development permit may be issued, says Cheryl Wirsz,
Director of Development Services for the District of Sooke.
"We are hoping we can work it out," she
© Copyright 2005 Sooke News Mirror