After a video of a large blast on a Sooke development gained traction on social media this week, residents that live nearby are finally having their complaints heard.
The video showed a massive cloud of dust and rocks fly into the air during blasting work on a development near Maple Park Terrace, which residents have been complaining about for the last two years.
“The video wasn’t a normal blast, that one was bigger than usual. But it demonstrated the amount of dust we’ve dealt with every single day, and it’s been ongoing for a long time,” said Marc Forget, a nearby resident.
“I’ve talked to the District of Sooke, the provincial government, the bylaw officers, you name it, and they’ve all said it was out of their hands. But as soon as this video went up, now they are starting to do something about it.”
Forget is also a builder, and said he’s not trying to throw anyone under the bus, and understands that the developers and workers are just doing their job, but until now they have never done anything for dust repression.
“I go out and pressure wash my house down, and the next day it looks exactly the same as it did before,” said Forget. “I bought this house a year ago and it looks 30 years old.”
Gerry Niederlinski, another resident of the area, has been making the same complaints since last year.
“It’s worse this year,” said Niederlinski. “Not only the dust, but also the power of the blasts.”
Niederlinski said aside from his home and windows that have been affected by the dust, his car has been completely coated as well.
“I’m also concerned for the health of residents in the area. I myself have been coughing from it, so I wonder what it’s doing to elders, children, or people with asthma,” added Niederlinsk.
Niederlinsk, along with other residents in the area plan to bring their complaints to a public hearing about the development on July 24.
Forget said he will also be attending the meeting, though developer Michael Volk has already contacted him saying he would resolve the issue and have Forget’s house cleaned.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if 200 people showed up. There are a lot of us who have been affected and would like to see some form of compensation,” said Forget.
“But now that that video has gone up, the workers have been watering down the rocks before blasting and the dust has been a lot better. I think they will make right of this, the blasters and developers will do due diligence, and everyone will move on and be happy.”