During a Special Council meeting on May 5, 2022, Council considered feedback on the draft Official Community Plan (OCP) and provided direction to staff to make revisions to the plan. The OCP will guide decisions on land use over the next two decades, offering community members a sense of where and how future development will likely occur. It will also provide planning direction in areas such as environment, climate change, active transportation, culture, reconciliation, and economic development.
The feedback on the draft OCP came from a public engagement period that ran from March 3 to April 11, in addition to recommendations from community groups, the Advisory Planning Committee, and the Official Community Plan Review Advisory Committee.
As a result of this input, Council requested several changes to the draft OCP. Some of the key areas of change include:
- Expansion of Environmentally Sensitive Areas along Sidney’s shoreline;
- Fewer areas proposed to transition from Neighbourhood Residential to Multi-Unit Residential;
- More policy to ensure that newly designated Multi-Unit Residential areas permit lower density townhome style development, as opposed to larger 3 or 4 storey apartment style buildings;
- Removal of new Neighbourhood Commercial Policy Areas proposed for Bowerbank Road and Weiler Avenue;
- More policy to ensure that the property at the intersection of Harbour Road and Bowden Road serves as a buffer between industrial and residential areas, supporting marine-related commercial and residential but not industrial activity;
- Removal of proposal to daylight Mermaid Creek between Malaview Avenue and Amelia Avenue within the corridor between Fifth Street and Resthaven Drive. The Multi-Unit Residential designation that would have incentivized this work will also be removed.
Staff are working to prepare a revised draft OCP that will be presented to Council in the coming weeks and made available to the public. Before Council adopts the final OCP, the public will be invited to participate in the bylaw adoption process, which includes a public hearing.
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Sidney