Building permit revenue from Sooke exceeded budget by $493,000 in 2021 as development expands on the West Bank.
The district projected $711,000 in revenue in its 2021 budget, but that figure was kicked out in late September. The total came to $1,204,418, well above the $858,941 the district earned in 2020.
Mayor Maja Tait said building permits don’t necessarily mean massive amounts of new homes are being built. She said more and more people had applied for permits to renovate their homes.
“With high prices and a shortage of real estate, many are asking, ‘How can I make my house a forever home to meet our growing needs?'”
With delays in the shipment of various supplies and household items due to global supply chain issues, residents of Sooke could also have started to see the deliveries they’ve been waiting for months in 2021, it said. -she adds.
“We also live in a desirable place,” she said. “I met over the summer with residents of northern and central British Columbia, and what we went through this year, they went through it every year for the last five years, and they wanted change .
Opinions on more development in Sooke are mixed. Some are completely against it, like Transition Sooke, a climate advocacy group, which made a presentation to Sooke council on December 13.
“We need to be creative in finding ways to curb our growth because the current path we are on is not sustainable,” Transition Sooke board member Alan Dolan said at the meeting. . “The rate of population growth is out of control.”
Mayor Tait said stopping development would hurt the community in the short and long term.
“When I hear no development, it means businesses will never be able to operate here,” she said.
She pointed to Sooke’s aging population as a factor that would increase the need for more amenities, such as a seniors’ home.
“We are at capacity with a growing population,” she said. “There is not enough space for all these organizations to do what they do so well in our community. This then means that it only makes the problem worse with more cars on the road because people will then have to drive elsewhere to find the services they need.