In Sidney Mayor (Steve) Price’s letter in the PNR of July 22, he claims that it’s not too late for Sandown “to find the right mix …” of non-retail tenants.
That point was actually passed over two years ago — the zoning bylaw for Sandown was adopted in early 2014. Although (Richard) Talbot and others have been drawing attention to the possible impacts of the Gateway and Sandown projects for some time, Mayor Price has only lately woken up to this situation.
His misguided response to his revelation has been to demand that North Saanich study the effects of Sandown upon downtown Sidney. In 2014, Sidney council could not muster one attendee at the Sandown public hearing but have since been cheerleading a more direct and recent competitor to their own downtown — Gateway. Perhaps he could “find the right mix” of non-retail tenants for Gateway. The flow of logic here is tortuous to say the least.
Of much greater concern is Mayor Price’s recent attempt to use the Urbanics Report (paid for by the developer, not Sidney) as a lever in this ploy to get North Saanich to do his own homework. In endeavouring to use MLA (Gary) Holman to exert pressure upon North Saanich, Mayor Price, in a letter to the MLA, “quotes” the Urbanics report – “… the proposed Sandown Commons shopping centre represents the biggest threat to retail operations at the subject site (downtown Sidney) [sic]…”. Mayor Price has added the phrase “(downtown Sidney)” to what he passes off as a direct quote but early in the Urbanics Report, “subject site” is clearly defined as Gateway, not downtown Sidney. Of course, quoting the report accurately would have destroyed the substance of both his letter and his flimsy argument.
Deliberately altering a public document for a political purpose is reprehensible, especially for a community leader.
First with the Memorial Park Society debacle and now with these Sandown/Gateway convulsions, the Sidney Mayor continues to show a unique but concerning leadership style.
Springfield Harrison, North Saanich