District of Sooke approves development with 77 rental units

New parking lot for John Phillips Memorial Park included in project

Tony St-Pierre

Tony St-Pierre

District council has approved 77 new residential rental units near municipal hall in Sooke.

Council voted in favour of RGF Developments’ proposal to build housing and commercial space units on a one-hectare of land fronting John Phillips Memorial Park on Otter Point Road at its April 12 general meeting.

In the same meeting, council also approved RGF Developments’ offer to pay the costs to design and build a new 36-stall parking lot for John Phillips Memorial Park next to Sooke Municipal Hall as a community contribution.

RELATED: Sooke committee aims for affordable housing

The housing development will offer 77 market rentals in two, three-storey buildings with commercial space fronting the property at 2197 Otter Point Rd. The developers will also build a 122-stall parking lot with electric-vehicle-ready parking stalls, improve existing trail connections and replace the footbridge near Nott Pond, and build a private amenity space for residents that includes a community garden.

Frontage improvements include a bike lane, curb, street trees, ornamental streetlights, swale, sidewalk, five on-street parking spaces and a bus stop.

RELATED: B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

The property, over the years, has housed a restaurant, golf clubhouse, fitness centre and homeless shelter.

A handful of residents were opposed, raising issues with increases to traffic and density and destruction of the park’s environment.

All councillors supported the project for the rental housing option, environmental initiatives, and closeness to transit, schools and the town core.

“This will make (John Phillips) park more usable. This is a really awesome addition to that neighbourhood,” said Coun. Ebony Logins.

Coun. Tony St-Pierre echoed support, highlighting community connectivity with transportation links.

“I think we’re getting a neighbourhood hub here. This is going to provide an excellent anchor for people to gather (in the park),” he said.

RGF Developments spokesman Graham Mann said the project’s concept comes from the district’s 2019 housing needs assessment report, calling for more rental housing in the Sooke Region.

RELATED: Island residents say municipalities not moving fast enough on affordable housing



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