I arrived on the Peninsula in the hope of escaping the traffic, noise and commercial densification of Vancouver. I have enjoyed the peace and relative tranquility of North Saanich and Sidney.
However, I have become concerned by media reports of the potential developments to be known as Sandown Commons and Sidney Gateway.
I am very surprised that these projects appear to be proceeding despite: 1) significant amount of vacant commercial space in Sidney, and; 2) the seemingly widespread opposition to both projects.
I am particularly concerned about Sidney Gateway, with the inevitable increase in traffic and the safety implications as a result of building a development so close to the flight path of an international airport. This is in addition to the serious prejudicial impact the development could have on the existing businesses in Sidney. A casual walk around Sidney already reveals at least a score of empty storefronts.
I expect a primary motivation for the Town of Sidney to proceed with Gateway is the potential increase in its tax base. I wonder, however, if this financial benefit will be illusory if the viability of the downtown core is negatively impacted.
Given the potential negative impacts both of these projects proceeding at the same time, I respectfully suggest the Town defer its support for Gateway until it is able to gauge the impact the Sandown Commons development has on the town. I propose Sandown Commons proceeding first as it appears to have been in the works for quite some time. It does not appear to throw up the same traffic and safety concerns as the Gateway development will.
To proceed with Gateway at this time would appear to be going against the wishes of the vast majority of the residents of Sidney and North Saanich.
G. Thompson, Sidney