Town hall firmly behind new housing

Council confident developer of Ocean Avenue project will mitigate impacts of six new small lot homes

Site drainage and traffic impacts are worrying some neighbours of this small lot housing development at Ocean Avenue and Fourth Street in Sidney. Town workers have been installing storm drain pipe to help ease water runoff issues near the lot. It’s work that had been planned for

Sidney councillors are putting residents’ concerns about a new small lot land project at Fourth Street and Ocean Avenue into the hands of the developer and municipal staff.

On Oct. 14, council approved development variance permits for six new homes on a corner lot on Fourth and Ocean. The variances will allow the single family units to occupy more of the property and be closer to each other than existing bylaws allow. Of concern to a resident who spoke on the subject, is the potential drainage and traffic issues caused by replacing a single home on that lot with six new ones.

Fraser McColl, speaking on behalf of de Hoog & Kierulf Architects, said their plan tries to address water drainage issues on the property.

“We will take care of 100 per cent of the water from our site,” he said.

As for traffic, McColl suggested landscaping work for the project could mitigate residents’ concerns that a laneway to be used for off street parking could face congestion.

Councillor Mervyn Lougher-Goodey noted the Town’s Advisory Planning Committee was happy with the project and all of the concerns were being addressed by the proponent.

“We need more young people (in Sidney),” he said. “We’re built out, so we’re making the best use of the space we can.”

While he said the variance approvals is “a simple approval” work has begun on demolishing the former home on the lot and getting the property ready for new construction. Council, from the outset, has been supportive of the project, a fact reinforced by Coun. Marilyn Loveless.

“Our job is to make the best decisions we can on behalf of all the citizens of Sidney,” she said. “(This project) is essential to our town moving forward.”

Drainage, access and landscaping issues, Loveless continued, will be mitigated as the developers work with Town staff to meet local requirements.

Loveless said the project does look a lot different than neighbouring houses, adding they won’t be cookie-cutter designs. She gave the project an A-plus.

Municipal staff reported to council that they will use a professional engineer to look at the site drainage issue. A new pipe and flow regulators will add extra measures to prevent potential flooding in the area.

The Town does list on its 2014 construction work and engineering projects list a plan for Fourth Street and Ocean Avenue drainage improvements.