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Sidney Crossing (Gateway Development)

The Town received a Development Permit (DP) referral for the Sidney Crossing development from the Victoria Airport Authority on October 18, 2017. Staff will review the DP referral and prepare a report to an upcoming meeting of Council. Information associated with the referral can be found here.

At the Council meeting of September 12, 2016, the Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 2115 and Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2116 were both approved by Council. This means that the requested land use change to permit the proposed uses of the Sidney Crossing development was approved.

The next step in the process is for the applicant, Omicron, to submit a Development Permit application to the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA). The VAA is the approving authority for Development Permits on airport lands, where the proposed Sidney Crossing development is located. The process for reviewing future applications for Development Permits considered by the VAA for this site would be as follows, as per the VAA’s Land Use Plan and Guidelines for Development at the Victoria International Airport:

  • All applicants for development on the Airport lands make Development Submission applications to the VAA.
  • Airport staff review an application from an operational, engineering and environmental perspective.
  • The application is then forwarded on to the Town of Sidney for review within 40 days of receiving the referral.
  • The Town of Sidney is to:

- identify any possible impacts on municipal infrastructure;
- provide comments on the compatibility of the proposed development on
                    the surrounding community; and
- provide other comments and suggestions as appropriate within a
reasonable time.

  • The applicant will make revisions to submitted plans addressing any Airport and community concern.
  • Revised plans will be reviewed by the VAA.
  • The VAA will prepare a sublease for signature by the Applicant when the Land Sublease and Development Proposal requirements have been met. The sublease agreement is to be completed and the Applicant may submit a Building Permit when the sublease has been executed by the VAA.

The timing of issuance of the Development Permit is also dependent on the conditions of the Memorandum of Understanding that was recently entered into by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the VAA, the Town of Sidney, and Omicron.

Project Overview: The Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) applied for amendments to both the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaw (Bylaw 2015) for an approximately 10 acre parcel of property located at the southwest corner of Beacon Avenue and the Patricia Bay Highway in Sidney.  Currently the federal zoning on this property is commercial, the OCP designation is primarily commercial (COM-3), however the municipal zoning on the property was residential (R2).  The VAA was requesting that the Town of Sidney consider aligning the zoning on the entire property to match the Town's OCP and the airport's federal zoning which is primarily commercial.  Approving the requests would allow the airport to authorize a developer to construct a commercial development in line with the VAA Land Use Plan.  The VAA undertook land use consultation in the Town of Sidney in the summer of 2014, confirming the site's suitability for commercial use.

Project Site Plan               Landscaping Plan         Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan     

Project Rendering Plan                 Pedestrian Overpass Plan  -  MOTI Approval

A large Canadian developer Omicron, are proposing to build a new ±100,000-square-foot retail centre on the noted lands, which they are calling the "Sidney Crossing".  Omicron has suggested that proposed tenants for the development include: an anchor grocery store, health and wellness programs with childcare, retailers that offer a mix of products from technology to pharmacy, financial and insurance services, fast food restaurants, and medical services. The first announcement of the exclusivity agreement took place in July 2015 between the VAA and Omicron, which entitles Omicron to enter into a land lease with the VAA if all civic approvals are met.  VAA and Omicron conducted two public information sessions; the first taking place on Friday, January 22, 2016, as part of the Chamber of Commerce's Tour of Industry, and the second on March 17, 2016, at the Mary Winspear Centre. If approved, construction could start late this year with a preliminary opening possibly taking place in early 2018.  More information about Omicron's projects and the Sidney Gateway may be found here.

Impact Study: Due to the significance of this proposed development in the community, Sidney Council requested that Omicron fund an independent study to determine the impact of Sidney Crossing on the Town's downtown shopping district. Urbanics, one of Canada's leading firms of land economists and development consultants, was selected to conduct the study while the scope and terms of reference were vetted by Town staff. The study was submitted along with Omicron and the VAA's official application submission to the Town.

The following is a timeline with dates for each step in the Sidney Crossing Application process:

Steps in the Application Process
Application submission by applicant

May 27, 2016
Notification by mail to surrounding neighbourhood (residents, property owners, and businesses) and Notice of Development Application sign installed on property by applicant  

Week of May 30, 2016

Presentation by applicant to Committee of the Whole (staff report considered at June 6, 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting). 

Retail Impact Assessment - Methodology Report (further details)

Traffic Impact Study

June 6, 2016

Council receives COW's recommendation(s)

Moved by Councillor M. Lougher-Goodey, seconded by Councillor T. Chad, that the Committee recommend to Council that Zoning Amendment Application No. RZ100091 and Official Community Plan Amendment Application No. OP100030 (2125 Beacon Avenue West – to allow the development of a commercial retail centre) be forwarded to the Advisory Planning Commission for review and comment.

Moved by Mayor S. Price, seconded by Councillor P. Wainwright, that the Committee recommend to Council that confirmation of the details of the installation and construction of the boulevard improvements by the developer or the Victoria Airport Authority such as the pedestrian overpass, crosswalks, bike lanes, curb work, gutters, sidewalks, off-site landscaping, boulevard trees and street lighting be presented to Council prior to the Zoning and Official Community Plan being amended and approved the Public Hearing (amended by Council at the June 13 meeting).

Moved by Councillor P. Wainwright, seconded by Councillor T. Chad, that the Committee recommend to Council that the applicant be requested to submit a report describing the methodology and results of the telephone survey in greater detail, including survey questions, time of day surveys were conducted and margins of error for regional subgroups.

Moved by Councillor P. Wainwright, seconded by Councillor T. Chad, that the Committee recommend to Council that the applicant clarify how truck traffic to and from the west Sidney industrial area will be accommodated during the construction of the Beacon/Galaran/Stirling Way roundabout.
Moved by Councillor P. Wainwright, seconded by Councillor T. Chad, that the Committee recommend to Council that the traffic consultant be requested to make a presentation at Committee of the Whole.

All recommendations above carried unanimously.

June 13, 2016
Presentation by applicant to Advisory
Planning Commission (staff report)
June 21, 2016

Council receives APC recommendation
June 27, 2016

Council considers First and Second Readings of Bylaws to rezone property and amend Official Community Plan designation (OCP amendment bylaw, Zoning amendment bylaw)

July 11, 2016

Special Council Meeting - Omicron presentation: additional information required and updated plans, and report on its meeting with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
August 22, 2016
Public Hearings and Council consideration of Third Reading and Final adoption of bylaws -- Public Hearings were held at the SHOAL Centre, 10030 Resthaven Drive, at 7:00 pm
September 12, 2016