There is very little “engagement” in the new engagement portal launched by the district (Let’s Talk Sooke).
For example, there’s a questionnaire about the John Phillips Memorial Park dog park that no dog owners using the park want, but the district rushes ahead to build – a 20×50-metre fenced enclosure for dog owners with a two-metre distance from each other. And for how many dogs? 10? Small and big?
There’ll be dog fights, incessant barking, and no grass left in the enclosure. Now dogs are spread throughout the whole park, which means less conflict and barking and better-preserved greenery in the park.
As to the mayor’s argument that a dog park is needed by the people living in the town core because they have small lots as opposed to people living in agricultural areas, it’s not true. The oldest lots surrounding the park are located on half an acre., somewhat newer lots developed in the 1990s have about a third of an acre, which are decent size lots.
But who creates tiny lots of 3,000 square feet for single-family homes, or no-land dwellings in downtown Sooke? Who constantly gets rid of agricultural land? The District of Sooke, of course. Is council waging a war with green space in the town?
John Phillips park as it is (without grandiose development schemes planned by the council) meets the needs of dog owners and other residents much better than a 20×50-metre fenced dog prison yard, 156 parking stalls, and hundreds of dwellings in and around the park.