Sidney, B.C.; The Town of Sidney and Fire Hall Development Ltd, (FHD), the developer / purchaser of the Town’s current Fire Hall and Third Street parking lot properties, have mutually agreed to explore re-design of the already approved development for the downtown site at the corner of Sidney Avenue and Third Street.
The new Council has asked FHD to consider reducing the scale and massing of the previously approved six-storey development, and in doing so, renegotiate the Purchase Agreement that was approved by the previous Council. In particular, Sidney Council has requested a re-design of the mixed-use project (ground floor commercial with residential condo units above) that would potentially reduce the number of storeys and building massing, along with ensuring better compliance with the Town’s Parking and Loading bylaw for the required number of resident and commercial vehicle parking spaces associated with the new development. In addition, the developer is being asked to retain the existing public parking spaces as part of the development.
In 2018, the previous Council selected FHD, through a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) process to purchase the Town owned downtown properties at 9837 and 9821 Third Street and 2477 Sidney Avenue for approximately $9.9 million. Prior to the election, the previous Council approved a Development Permit and Development Variance Permit to develop the properties. During the election campaign, however, the new Council, through their door-knocking and conversations with citizens, heard quite clearly that the majority of the community wants to see a smaller scale development that they feel is more in keeping with the character of Sidney. Citizens also expressed a desire to see more parking spaces provided as part of the overall development proposal.
In mutually agreeing to renegotiate the Purchase Agreement and changes to the design, the parties have worked together to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that spells out how the Town and developer will, diligently and in good faith, work on a revision to the project design and Purchase Agreement. A key acknowledgement in the MOU is that the parties are both bound by the current Purchase Agreement and Development Permit and, therefore, should they not be able to successfully negotiate a mutually acceptable project design and purchase price, the original proposal and land transaction will proceed.