An updated Official Community Plan (OCP) shaped by residents, businesses, community groups, advisory committees, and First Nations over a two-year engagement and review process has been adopted by Council.
The updated OCP has evolved from the former plan by providing stronger guidance on topics the community identified as important. These include affordable housing, a vibrant economy, reconciliation with First Nations, environmental protection, climate change response, as well as preservation of Sidney’s small-town, seaside character.
“After working closely with the community over the past two years, it is rewarding to adopt an updated Official Community Plan that reflects our shared values and vision for the future,” said Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith. “This plan provides more certainty around how growth will be managed and how we will protect the character, culture, and coastal environment that makes Sidney unique.”
The OCP contains guidance to addresses current housing needs at a scale that is compatible with Sidney’s existing neighbourhoods, such as:
- Additional opportunities for rental housing in Sidney’s residential neighborhoods
- Workforce housing opportunities in West Sidney near the Industrial Park
- The introduction of a new Neighbourhood Townhouse Land Use Designation
- The establishment of clearly-defined downtown building heights
The plan also includes increased environmental protection with:
- Policies to respond to climate change and sea level rise
- Expansion of Environmentally Sensitive Areas along Sidney’s shoreline
- Stronger policies for environmental protection within Environmentally Sensitive Areas and the addition of a map that identifies some of Sidney’s unique environmental features
Commitments to build a stronger relationship with local First Nations are also an integral part of the updated OCP, and were developed collaboratively by listening and learning from representatives of W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations.
The Official Community Plan can be found at www.sidney.ca/OCP.
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith