If Sooke councillors vote in favour of a proposed daycare at 2365 Church Rd., the decision would come despite concerns from neighbours.
Several neighbours aired their concerns at a public hearing.
One homeowner of an adjacent property pointed out that his wife was a shift-work nurse who often had to sleep during the day. He expressed concern the outdoor play area for the proposed daycare would be within three metres of his home’s master bedroom window.
Another homeowner came forward with his concern that the increased traffic in the area would change the character of the neighbourhood.
“I wanted to live there because kids could play basketball on the street. Once you put through traffic onto that street, you’ll change that dynamic,” he said.
A third neighbour came forward in opposition, also citing traffic and parking concerns.
But while councillors were sympathetic to the concerns, they were not prepared to stop the process that could address some of the issues at a later date.
“It’s a bit of an ass-backwards approach,” said Coun. Al Beddows, who expressed doubt that Island Health will approve the number of childcare spots suggested by the daycare’s proponents.
“I don’t think there’s any way that they’ll allow 40 children in there, but I love the idea of daycare in that neighbourhood.”
The sentiment was shared by Coun. Tony St. Pierre who said the community needs daycare spaces and, while he would have preferred to see a number of smaller daycares as opposed to a single larger one, that didn’t appear to be in the cards.
“I hope that the rest of the process will solve some of the issues raised here tonight,” St. Pierre said.
A staff report on the issue had also weighed in on the value of the proposed daycare facility, stating: “The subject property is in an ideal neighbourhood for a community care facility as there are no other childcare facilities in the immediate vicinity. In addition, there are a significant number of existing and proposed residential units for this part of Sooke, these units will need to be supported by nearby services and amenities.”
The zoning bylaw amendment passed third reading, and is expected to be approved at the Sept. 30 council meeting.
The proponent is now able to pursue Island Health approvals for the proposed facility.