A controversial subdivision is a step closer to creating more recreational green space after the District of Sooke directed staff to prepare a renegotiated park covenant with the developer.
Council voted unanimously on June 27 to rejig a covenant with Viewpointe Estates which requires parkland dedication, trail linkages, design and construction as well as various amenities to be provided within specific phases of development.
In voting for the proposal, Coun. Dana Lajeunesse said there have been many challenges with the development over the years and a merry-go-round of ownership, but in this case, that’s trumped by the need to get the project completed.
Viewpointe Estates is a 20-hectare residential development between Maple Park Terrace and Mountain Heights Drive that will contain about 140 homes when completed. The development will be built in seven phases, with the third phase under construction.
The subdivision developer had initially mapped out certain areas that would be given to Sooke as parkland, with trails and playgrounds, but last year district staff discovered some areas within the covenant had been cleared and used as a dumping ground for crushed rock and dirt.
The new covenant dedicates more land for park use, and the reconfiguration of space allows for additional lots in the development.
Viewpointe Estates has had a rocky relationship with the District of Sooke and its neighbours since 2010, including noise, dust, explosions and fires, and developers not willing to follow the rules.
The new owner, Ian Laing of Laing Properties, said he intends to be a good neighbour and complete what is asked of him by the district.
“I think the developer feels he wants to get on with it and turn it into something respectful,” Coun. Ebony Logins said.
Mayor Maja Tait, the only councillor on council when the project was first announced, said the project’s been a “hellfire for many people for a long time.”
”What I find comforting now is the property’s been sold and that our current engineering team will stay on top of that project.”