No magic date for Sidney Gateway approval

Development permit application, project referrals, expected by next spring

The Victoria Airport Authority is expecting an application for a development permit for Sidney Gateway within 90 days.

Yet, says the VAA’s James Bogusz, that’s only the the application. He doesn’t expect any approvals until early 2017.

On Monday, Sept. 12, Sidney town council in a 5-2 vote approved the rezoning of 10 acres of land to a commercial designation. That move enables Omicron Developments to proceed with plans for a 98,000 to 100,000 square foot commercial site.

The Gateway project has proven controversial in Sidney and North Saanich, two communities with potentially competing shopping centres, and populations with strong and differing opinions on the issue.

Bogusz, the VAA’s vice-president of operations and development, stated in an email to the PNR that Omicron is “now authorized to apply for a development permit.”

That permit, he said, would be for the publicly-shared plans for Gateway — which includes the proposed pedestrian overpass “and other promised offsite improvements.”

“Although the timing of their application is ultimately up to Omicron, we expect to receive it later this year, probably in the next 90 days,” Bogusz wrote. “Again, there is no magic date, as in, they will apply when they have all of the permit application materials together and have the final traffic plan confirmed by (the Town of Sidney, Victoria Airport Authority and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure).”

He stated that once the application is received, the VAA will conduct a review and refer the plans to the Town, NAV Canada and the transportation ministry.

“Based on the publicly shared concept design, there has already been a substantive review by NAV Canada, the VAA and Town of Sidney, so even though it will go through the standard permit process, we would not be expecting any surprises …”

The referral process, he continued, could take between 60 and 90 days, yet the actual time will vary, based on each party’s own process.

“Assuming it’s approved, Omicron would then be provided a development permit and complete a long term lease with the VAA,” stated Bogusz. “With a development permit in hand, Omicron would then complete detailed design for the buildings themselves so the VAA can then issue a building permit. The Town of Sidney is also involved with this process for review of the building permit.”

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