The next fence to leap for the Sidney Gateway is the Victoria Airport Board of Directors on economic impact. We must remember that the VAA is a private corporation and merely the current tenants of federal land which belongs to all of us — the people.
The VAA Directors have consistently said from the very beginning of Gateway in 2014 that they would never approve any development which would negatively impact downtown Sidney.
With Sandown Commons zoned two years ago and which could be proceeding with a Canadian Tire anchor — and the addition of a second major shopping centre — the VAA lands will result in 50 per cent of downtown Sidney’s existing retail being relocated to west of the Pat Bay Highway.
The last fence is the B.C. Ministry of Transport on traffic. The Ministry has made it clear they will not approve a development permit for Gateway until all traffic issues are resolved to their entire satisfaction.
The Pat Bay/Beacon intersection is currently ranked as “F” and no improvements have been proposed in spite of ferry traffic increasing at six per cent per year and two new major shopping centres (Sandown and Gateway).
May I therefore urge all those in the CRD who love our existing downtown Sidney to write to Mr. James Crowley, the Chairman of the VAA and The Hon. Todd Stone, BC Minister of Highways and urge them to resolve both the above very valid concerns before approving Sidney Gateway? This is urgent. The next VAA Board meeting is on Oct. 3
Richard Talbot, Sidney