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Sidney says no to sewer request

The Town of Sidney has turned down North Saanich's request to hook up to its sewer line near the Sandown property on McDonald Park Road.

District of North Saanich CAO Rob Buchan made the request on behalf of North Saanich council in a letter to Sidney council in July. Sidney council discussed the request at its July 11 meeting and requested a staff report.

The staff report to Sidney council outlined a number of concerns with allowing North Saanich to hook up to its sewer line, chief among them is the fact that the town does not have a sanitary sewer main along McDonald Park Road.

“The town does have several 200 mm sanitary sewer highway crossings servicing the west side industrial area of Sidney. Of these, the sanitary sewer on Amelia Ave. West would be the most feasible connecting point, as it provides the most direct access to the Sidney-CRD sanitary trunk sewer at the Amelia Avenue/Melissa Street intersection. However sections of the Amelia sanitary sewer appear to have limited capacity and would require upgrading at the district's expense to handle the increase in flows. The additional DNS flow may also require future downstream upgrades to the trunk main to be accelerated in order to address the town's continued growth requirements,” the report from Town Director of Engineering Rob Hall and Director of Development Services Randy Humble said.

“It is the perspective of staff that there is no apparent benefit seen, inferred, or offered to the town in exchange for permitting a connection to the town's sanitary sewer system. In fact, such a connection servicing a commercial development area outside of the town's jurisdiction could be seen to increase risk of the town pertaining to discharges, overflows etc.”

The report commented on the lack of information about the potential commercial development. “Although the proposal is relatively descriptive with respect to possible uses on the 83 acre parcel (i.e. university agricultural programs, farming, farm training and community gardens) there is no indication of what the specific uses might be in regard to the 12 acres of commercial.”

“While Sidney's planning staff certainly have some strong opinions regarding other potential land use opportunities associated with the Sandown site, we also feel that it is not our place, nor role, to delve into another jurisdiction's land use planning matters. It should, however, be pointed out that any proposed further extension of a sanitary sewer, water service or increase in servicing capacity on the part of the District of North Saanich would appear to be in contravention of the CRD Regional Growth Strategy.”

Hall and Humble expressed concern with Sidney taking part in a project that might put the town in contravention of the RGS.

“At this time it may also be appropriate to briefly comment that it is not clear as to how the District of North Saanich plans to address storm water drainage for the site. It is understood that sections of the district’s existing storm water system along McDonald Park Road are already undersized. It is therefore assumed that some form of on-site storm water detention may need to be explored. The town does not have surplus storm drain capacity available”

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