The massive residential and commercial development known as SSC Properties will not be connected to Sechelt’s sewer system, the District’s Council has decided.
Debate was held on the issue at the same April 6 meeting that council heard an engineering consultant’s report on the new Water Resource Centre’s anticipated need for a multi-million-dollar expansion, a finding that Mayor Bruce Milne called “a bombshell, in terms of planning.”
SSC is a 162-hectare (400-acre) East Porpoise Bay project that envisions as many as 1,300 residential units in a mountain-side setting that would include commercial, retail and waterfront recreational activities.
District staff recommended that councillors consider including the development in the District’s Urban Containment Boundary (UCB), which would have enabled it to hook up to the sewer system.
Councillor Darnelda Siegers said that, according to the District’s Official Community Plan and Liquid Waste Management Plan, the SSC properties should be allowed to connect to the system.
But Councillors Mike Shanks and Alice Lutes argued that other areas in the District, such as Selma Park and Davis Bay, still had not been connected despite assurances dating back to 1986, and would have to be first in line.
Mayor Bruce Milne said that the growing uncertainty about the number of residences that should be sending waste to the new treatment plant, council should proceed with caution.
“I don’t think we should be giving the chance of loading additional capacity onto it,” Milne said.
Both Milne and Councillor Darren Inkster added that, given the high standards set by the WRC, and SSC’s pledge of sustainability, any local sewage treatment provided by the development would not pose an environmental threat to Porpoise Bay.
Council voted of 5-1 to turn down the staff recommendation to expand the UCB, with Siegers casting the dissenting vote.