Your Jan. 14 editorial (Making the best of a bad situation) says Esquimalt ‘denied required rezoning’ last spring. That isn’t quite true. The zoning (for use and density) was in place. CRD wanted a few ‘variations’ within that zoning. That’s a fairly common situation, for both technical and neighbour concerns. Esquimalt duly held a hearing, nominally on those variances, but then did the almost unprecedented thing of taking back the underlying zoning instead of ruling on the subject of the hearing.
The applicant CRD didn’t fight or sue, as any normal applicant, having spent so much money, in faith, on properly zoned land, would have done. What you describe as the Esquimalt mayor’s ‘intransigence’ appears to have trumped all the common sense and good nature of the whole rest of the CRD board – and the years of work of its staff and consultants.
In 2008, Esquimalt had requested that the plant be at McLoughlin Point. In 2014, the McLoughlin Point plan (except, perhaps, for the remote bio-solids processing) had evolved into what seemed like the rational answer to regional needs, whether or not there are alternatives – and if one abandons all the smart people who say nothing is required.
From the information I have seen, McLoughlin failed because the CRD board caved in to Esquimalt’s abuse of the variance process, not because rezoning was denied.