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Public review of draft Official Community Plan set to begin

Sidney B.C.; Beginning March 3rd, the draft Official Community Plan (OCP) for the Town of Sidney will be available for public review. The updated plan will guide decisions on land use and planning over the next two decades offering community members a sense of where and how future development will likely occur, and how environmentally sensitive areas will be protected.

“This is an important time for community members to ensure the Official Community Plan reflects our shared goals,” said Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith. “Whether you have 20 minutes or several hours, there are a range of ways to learn about new policies and updates to the OCP. I am thankful to everyone who takes part.”

Community members will be able to learn more about the updated OCP and provide feedback by:

  • Taking the online survey on the draft OCP at the project page
  • Reviewing OCP Summary Slides at the project page
  • Attending an OCP Open House (Advance registration is required by emailing ocp@sidney.ca)
    • In-Person Option: Wednesday, March 16th with 1-hour time slots at 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
    • Virtual Option: Thursday, March 17th (6:30 – 8:30 p.m.)
  • Reading the Draft OCP at the project page
  • Reading the upcoming special OCP edition of Town Talk (to be delivered mid-March)
  • Emailing feedback to OCP@sidney.ca
  • Dropping by Town Hall during regular office hours to discuss the draft OCP with planning staff

Community input has been integral to the development of the updated OCP. From September 2020 to June 2021, the Town of Sidney heard from the public, local First Nations, and stakeholders through an open house, virtual workshops, meetings, surveys, and other forms of engagement, totaling more than 1,600 interactions. The community also provided input on the OCP Key Directions Report in the fall of 2021.

New policy in the OCP reflects common values and concerns raised during these engagement efforts, including:

  • Limits on downtown building heights
  • Increased environmental protection for coastal areas
  • Plans to respond to climate change and sea level rise
  • Improved guidelines on quality architecture and materials, and;
  • Additional opportunities for rental housing in Sidney’s residential neighborhoods.

The public review period closes on April 11th. From there, staff will report back to Council with a summary of community input and related changes to the OCP. Before Council adopts the final OCP, the public will be invited to participate in the bylaw adoption process, which includes a public hearing.

Media Contact:

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith

250-656-1139, mayor@sidney.ca