Sidney opts for smaller employee parking lot plan

No grant means Town must downsize the lot; skate park will still move.

Proposed changes to a municipal parking lot plan could see it reduced in size and moved further south of the Mary Winspear Centre.

Plans for a large parking lot next to the Pat Bay Highway in Sidney are changing after the municipality lost its bid for grant money to help pay for it.

Sidney had floated the idea in 2015 of a 314-stall parking lot on land south of the Mary Winspear Centre and north of its public works yard.

The idea was to try to encourage downtown employees in Sidney to park there and help alleviate parking pressure in the downtown core.

The project was riding on lease agreements in the works with the society that runs the Mary Winspear Centre, as well as federal gas tax grant money.

According to the Town, they heard in February of this year that they were not successful in getting a grant. Mayor Steve Price mentioned that outcome at the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s Breakfast Feb. 23.

As a result, the municipality has announced it’s scaling back the project, reducing the size of the parking lot to make it more affordable. Price stated as well that the Town would look into paying for the entire project itself.

According to the Town, a redesigned, smaller parking lot is being considered for the empty space between the current skate park and the works yard, between Orchard and Oakville streets. A conceptual plan on Sidney’s website shows the proposed new lot sitting against the southern border of the existing skate park.

The initial, larger lot would have been built over the skate park site.

That had prompted the Town to start consultation on a possible new skateboard facility in Tulista Park.

Councillor Cam McLennan says plans for a new skate park are going ahead, despite the change to a smaller parking lot near the Mary Winspear Centre.

“No, the existing skate park is not going to be saved,” he said. “The idea is to get a new one, professionally designed to meet the needs of today’s users.”

He said the vision is, over time, that the existing Winspear parking lot would connect with the Town’s proposed pavement. The logical connection of the two, he said, would be where the current skate park sits.

As a result, McLennan said Sidney is still looking at developing a new skate park facility in Tulista Park.

On March 30, consultants NewLine Skateparks will return to town with preliminary designs for a new space.

McLennan said he expects the company, which held an open house and sought park user ideas on Nov. 25 last year, will bring three options to the table. From there, additional feedback will refine the plans into a proposal that would go before the Town for approval.

The March 30 design presentation open house will be at the Sidney Fire Hall, starting at 6 p.m.

Just Posted

Food service workers at Victoria airport protest for second time in four months

Negotiations continue to drag on with employer Compass Group Canada, VAA refuses to engage

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Esquimalt senior’s complex getting redeveloped

The Esquimalt Lions Lodge is one of the projects to receive funding for affordable housing

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Federal environment minister faces protesters in B.C.

Catherine McKenna defended her government’s environmental record during a funding announcement in Victoria

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read