Letter: Why not change the zoning?

Last year, a local architect representing an Ontario Pension Fund, tried to assemble a group of buildings in the heart of Sidney, including the Town Hall, to develop a strata development. Apparently, approved in principle, by the town, the development was thwarted by members of the Army and Navy, who refused to join as a key component,

When the town announced a public meeting in 2017 on zoning by-laws, I assumed another development was in the works. However, the meeting proved to be more about facilitating operations for developers of high-density residential projects, affordable only by people who have cashed out of other high value markets. Sidney has large numbers of people working in retail, home-care, and associated services for our aging population, who can’t afford to live here.

We do have under utilized areas in our single story malls. Why not change the zoning to allow apartments over the parking lots and existing buildings? People could live close to work and public transit reducing the need for parking.

Pension funds and income trusts generally own shopping malls and are looking for increased rental yield from their properties. We should look at property utilization in other parts of the world. It seems we are into another phase of short term development profit at the expense of long term planning for the overall benefit of the community. This is reminiscent of the period in the 80’s when the town lost control of our waterfront to the Port of Sidney developers.

C. Atkinson

Sidney

Just Posted

Price tag revealed for proposed Stelly’s theatre

Long-awaited plans for a theatre at Stelly’s were finally revealed at a… Continue reading

Writing from a lifetime of travel

North Saanich poet Ulrike Narwani to read at the SHOAL Centre Nov. 24

Sidney’s Star Cinema part of new development plan

Theatre space would increase in proposed Cameo, a 45-unit mixed use condo development

Local growers partner with Country Grocer to help kids in need

Bouquet and tree sales to help kids with special needs

Town wants assurances over overpass, trees at Sidney Crossing

Major commercial site plan now in the hands of the Victoria Airport Authority

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Spunky gets his own ‘hawk’-umentary

Red-tailed hawk raised by eagles in Sidney part of new online documentary

Sidney fire hall, parking lot, go up for sale

Town hopes to sell properties to offset cost of building its new fire hall

Naked man arrested in Nanaimo, provided with pants

Suspect arrested for causing disturbance Nov. 13 near Bowen and Northfield roads

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer