Residents unaware, not uninterested

Reader responds to editorial on Sidney zoning bylaws

Re: CS: Learn from Sidney debacle (Our View, July 27)

I feel I must respond to the comment in your editorial, “Open houses were held and feedback was encouraged, but residents showed little interest.” This is simply not the case.

The people involved were not given full disclosure of the issue and were led to believe these changes were insignificant.

The extremely important issue of removing single family dwellings as a permitted use in RM5 zones within the new bylaw was never once mentioned. Many of us went to town hall and spoke with planning staff and were told we had nothing to worry about. After reading the draft zoning bylaw, some residents realized what they had been told was incorrect. Thus the door to door campaign, the protests and the lawyer.

The Town of Sidney failed to accurately notify residents of the zoning changes and by omission of important fine print did not paint a full picture of what the changes meant. The mayor has since promised all future zoning changes will require personal letters be sent to affected homeowners. This is a step in the right direction and I thank Mayor Cross. But the issue of our trust for town staff and the newly appointed administrator still looms in a very big way.

Sandra Pettinger

Sidney