Residents of the Town of Sidney have been very engaged and interested in the outcome of the development permitting process. (Steven Heywood/News staff file)

UPDATE: Sidney Crossing application leaps back onto the airport’s radar

Omicron Developments makes official application to build large commercial area in Sidney

(Updated Aug. 3 to correct attribution on public information details)

Sidney Crossing is back on the radar for the Victoria Airport Authority.

On Wednesday (August 2), James Bogusz Vice-President of the Development and Operations at the VAA, notified the News Review that Omicron Developments has made its official application for a development permit for the project.

The proposed commercial development on the Authority’s land at the corner of Beacon Avenue West and the Pat Bay Highway, has been the subject of much scrutiny since it was first announced in 2015.

“I just received it today,” Bogusz said of Omicron’s development application, “and I’m still going through it now.”

What is on the table is space just shy 100,000 square feet for a commercial and retail shopping area. It will include a grocery store, financial institution, restaurants, office space and other retail operations. Omicron has also agreed to pay for a new pedestrian overpass of the highway, as well as pay for various traffic improvements on Beacon and on the highway.

The details of which companies will become tenants at Sidney Crossing are not included in this latest application, according to Peter Laughlin of Omicron.

Bogusz said the plans submitted to the VAA (they were sent to the VAA on Friday, July 28, according to Omicron) appear to be the same as plans presented to the community at a public hearing held by the Town of Sidney. That hearing ended in the municipality’s approval of a land rezoning that helped pave the way for the development company to proceed to this latest phase.

The VAA has taken the extra step of working with the Town, despite the fact that it’s on federal land. They also went through the process of removing the land from the Agricultural Land Reserve even thought that too would normally not apply to federal property.

For the next 30 days, said Bogusz, the VAA’s planning consultants, Urban Systems, will review the application. Once they and the VAA are comfortable with it, Bogusz said it will be forwarded on to NAV Canada, the B.C. transportation ministry and the Town of Sidney, for review.

Under a previous agreement, the Town will have 40 days of their own to review Omicron’s application and plans for the site. Bogusz said once all the materials are submitted to the Town for their review process, he expects the application from Omicron will be available to the public on the Town of Sidney website.

Laughlin added that if there are to be any further public meetings on the project, those will fall to the Town of Sidney to provide.

Bogusz added all companies who apply to build commercial structures on VAA land go through a lot of scrutiny to ensure they meet the requirements of the airport and its operations. He anticipates this next process — including Sidney’s 40 days — to run between 90 and 120 days, giving all agencies involved time to review the plan before the next stage of approvals.

Omicron had initially said they’d have the application in to the VAA by last April or May. Laughlin said the pace of development right now in Greater Victoria contributed to the delay.

Laughlin added there are no fundamental changes to the plans people have already seen for Sidney Crossing. This application, he continued, provides more detail about the site. Planning for the overpass and traffic improvements, he said, were all worked out months ago and approved by the agencies involved.

Sidney Crossing — or Sidney Gateway as it was originally called — stirred up a lot of opposition in the community, both in Sidney and in North Saanich. Critics, some of whom have started petitions against it, have expressed concern that such a large commercial site could skeletonize the downtown shopping area of Sidney and that added traffic — potentially made worse by a proposed commercial site in North Saanich — could contribute to more crashes.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

Earlier plans called the project ‘Sidney Gateway’. It has since been changed to Sidney Crossing. This drawing depicts where the commercial buildings would be placed. (Omicron)

Just Posted

Local and international artists paint murals across Victoria

Sixteen murals are spread out across downtown Victoria as part of the ‘concrete canvas’ project

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Crash snarles traffic on Highway 17

Traffic southbound is seriously delayed and northbound down to one lane on… Continue reading

Victoria Police arrest man in relation to indecent act at Beacon Hill Park

The man is known to police, and is facing three charges

Oak Bay brothers scoop 10 kg of poop from park paths in 30 mins

Family picks up dog poo to give back, inspire others to be more responsible

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read