A series of conditions must be met before the developers of a proposed five-storey building in downtown Sidney will be able to proceed.
Acting on recommendation from their advisory planning commission, Sidney Town council recently gave preliminary approval to the Marker Group and its plan for a five-storey, mixed residential and commercial building on Third Street.
The approval came with some caveats.
One of those is notifying all other property owners within 76 meters (250 feet) of their intent to seek a relaxation of zoning regulations in regards to building height and an exchange of amenities for bonus residential density.
The Marker Group has offered undergrounding power and phone lines along Third Street from Beacon Avenue to the north corner of the property, as well as providing a right-of-way for future public access.
After Councillor Kenny Podmore excused himself from the meeting (he is employed at the Pier Hotel, owned by The Marker Group), council addressed the concerns expressed by a neighbouring resident.
Owners of units in a nearby building on Second Street have complained in the past about the building’s proposed height and potential loss of views.
A resident in the building also stated he felt the plan did not fit with the Town’s Local Area Plan for the downtown core.
Randy Humble, Town CAO, stated such plans are flexible and as long as a project meets the intent of such documents (LAP, OCP and zoning bylaws) it could be approved.
It doesn’t meet the rules to the letter, Humble said, but does based on context and merit and that is what (the planning department) has done in this case.
By approving the commission’s recommendation, the Town is asking The Marker Group to pay a deposit for landscaping work, undertake all offsite works and services and work with the Town on new boulevard trees.
Mayor Larry Cross noted council’s unanimous approval on Aug. 11 sends the project a step closer to a public hearing.
The latest Sidney Town council meeting schedules and agendas can be found at www.sidney.ca.