Sidney residents have until Oct. 20 to submit their feedback on the new report highlighting key directions of the community’s Official Community Plan (OCP) review.
The key directions report includes several recommendations synthesized out of 10 months of community engagement.
“This is an opportunity to reflect and make sure we’ve heard people clearly, before moving forward and drafting the updated Official Community Plan,” said Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith in a release encouraging the public to submit their input.
I am pleased by the diversity and number of people who feel invested in Sidney and are actively shaping its future.”
Perhaps the most significant recommendation calls for Sidney to cap the elevation of future buildings along Beacon Avenue east of Fifth Street to three storeys, and to four storeys elsewhere in the downtown core, with a more detailed height allowance map to be worked out for later public input.
The report leaves room for downtown buildings with five storeys, but only in the area from Highway 17 to the half-block along Beacon Avenue before Fifth Street, and only by approval through a rezoning or variance request if a “significant public amenity,” such as social housing, is part of the proposal.
These new proposed policies around downtown density and building heights, with its division of Sidney’s downtown into Downtown West (Highway 17 to the half-block along Beacon Avenue before Fifth Street) and Downtown East, respond to tension within the community.
Steve Duck, president of the Sidney Community Association, said last month the association is encouraged by the general intent of the report following a meeting of its board.
But Duck added the association is looking forward to seeing specifics concerning the protection of the natural environment, enhancement of neighbourhood character and developing street designs reflecting the needs of Sidney residents.
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