Plans for the proposed redevelopment of an iconic motel on the Saanich Peninsula are becoming more concrete, with developers speaking of creating a seaside village in Sidney’s south.
GMC Projects and Chard Development are holding two open houses, one in-person scheduled for Nov. 2, the other virtually, scheduled for Nov. 9, to inform the public about their “preliminary vision” for the redevelopment of Cedarwood Inn and Suites located on Lochside Drive and almost directly opposite from Tulista Park.
The Nov. 2 meeting will take place at the Mary Winspear Centre from 4 to 6:30 p.m., while the virtual meeting will take place by way of Zoom from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The low-sloped motel with its prominent sign evoking the hay days of the neon age has served as a quasi-portal to Sidney and long drawn the interest of various developers.
Perhaps the most concrete proposal to redevelop the site hit the public in March 2018, when Kamloops-based Total Concept Developments presented plans for three six-storey buildings on the site.
Currently surrounded by single-family homes and townhouses to the east and north there is also the three-storey tall Blue Waters apartment complex with Weiler Avenue separating the two buildings.
Speaking to Black Press Media in late May, Jordan Milne, president and chief executive officer of GMC Projects, said his company (which struck a conditional deal to purchase the lot before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic) will most likely bring forward an application “of some kind” for the current Cedarwood Inn and Suites after the Town of Sidney has completed the review of its official community plan (OCP), which has been underway since last year.
Milne said at the time, the site could end up being a neighbourhood village. “My understanding is that the site has been identified as a neighbourhood village in terms of the OCP and that from the broadest context is a good way of describing the high-level vision that we would have for what that site could serve in the community, a neighbourhood mixed-use village,” he said.
Information on the website allowing residents to sign up for the respective open houses pointed in the same direction.
“A literal stone’s throw from the shore in south Sidney exists an opportunity to create a seaside village featuring a diverse mix of commercial and residential spaces with beautifully landscaped outdoor environments and shared amenities,” it read.
The current zoning map designates the site C4 (neighbourhood motel) with a maximum height of two storeys (or nine metres) and a maximum lot coverage of 45 per cent.
When asked about the density of any future re-development, Milne reiterated his company will wait until the OCP review is completed. “But the idea of something in the three- to four-storey height range is reasonable to anticipate,” he said.
Black Press Media has reached out to the company for additional details on the project.
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