This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Reality/Submitted).

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Reality/Submitted).

Sidney warehouse proposal receives more than 40 public feedback comments

Sidney has until May 11 to submit comments to Victoria Airport Authority

Public submissions to Sidney council concerning plans for the proposed warehouse on airport land raise concern about the impact of the building on traffic, surrounding residential neighbourhood environment but also reveal a measure of support.

Not counting late submissions, Sidney council received 44 submissions commenting on plans by York Realty to build a warehouse at 9899 McDonald Park Rd. that would almost be as tall as the Sidney Pier Hotel (just under 23 metres) with a total gross floor area larger than six full-sized soccer fields.

The proposed project valued in excess of $50 million has been the source of much public debate in Sidney and beyond and the May 10 meeting of Sidney council offers the public an opportunity to air their views about the project with the understanding that the Victoria Airport Authority — not council — makes the final decision.

A memorandum of understanding between the municipality and the authority has referred the project to the municipality for comment and council last month delayed its official response — due May 11 — to allow for additional public input.

That input shows considerable public concern about the impact of the project on area traffic, through the major intersection of Beacon Avenue West and Highway 17, as well as the nearby intersection of Galaran Road and Beacon Avenue West.

“I have many objections to this proposal but my greatest one is the increased traffic congestion that will occur,” wrote Joan Richardt in capturing a prevailing point in the submissions.

Even public supporters of the project such as the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Robin Richardson, former chair of Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group (SNSIG) among others are calling for improvements to the local transportation infrastructure with a looming dispute over the nature of those improvements and the sharing of costs.

Sidney staff have called on VAA take an unspecified “leadership role” in working with York Realty, the municipality and other stakeholders to ensure construction and design of a two-lane roundabout at intersection of Beacon Avenue West and Galaran Road, a project likely to cost more than the estimated figure of close to $3 million for a single-lane roundabout and the realignment of Stirling Way.

RELATED: MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

RELATED: Chamber of Commerce promises Sidney warehouse proposal will deliver jobs

RELATED: 23-metre tall warehouse pitched for airport lot next to Sidney neighbourhood

RELATED: Industrial land flying off the shelf at Victoria International Airport

RELATED: Neighbours stunned by massive warehouse proposed near Victoria airport

Documents from the VAA suggest a certain level of resistance toward this recommendation. Citing two studies from the same traffic consultant (one commissioned in part by Sidney, the other commissioned by York Realty), VAA argues that the development “did not singularly trigger a requirement” for a traffic circle at the intersection of Beacon Avenue and Galaran Road while acknowledging such a structure may appear eventually.

Other comments focused on the environmental effects of the project. “Has anyone heard of climate change?” asked Jennifer Margison. “Let’s add more traffic to our already congested roads.”

Other critical submissions focused on the impact of the warehouse, both from a visual and operational perspective on the nearly residential neighbourhood along Galaran Road.

“I do not think such a massive building should be built at this location as it will impact the neighboring housing community with excess noise, traffic and by increasing congestion at (Highway 17) and Beacon Ave,” said Lynda Comber.

While a minority, the proposal also has supporters. While Richard expressed appreciation for the support from some council members for the residents of the area, it has always been zoned commercial, adding that the West Sidney Local Area Plan had envisaged commercial development of this type. “I am certain the developer can mitigate against some of the impacts,” he said.

According to the VAA, York Reality will provide an enhanced landscaping plan and is developing a “green wall” along the east building facade facing Galaran Road.

Supporter Wayne Braid raised the possibility of area homeowners receiving compensation for any possible losses in their home values, while praising the project.

“Having viewed all of the information from the city and the VAA and York Development I am in favour of this development for our town,” he said. “I think this is a ‘clean’ development that will provide employment for people in our area and will provide significant tax revenue that will relieve the reliance on the tax base of homeowners and small (businesses) in our town.”


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read