Highlights from regular Council meetings provide a brief summary of some items of broad public interest. The summary is not inclusive of all agenda items. Please refer to www.sidney.ca for the full agenda, minutes, and webcast.
Business License fees waived for an additional year as staff look into perpetual license option
For the second year in a row, Council have waived the $100 Business License fee paid annually by local businesses. The fee was originally waived in December 2020 in an effort to support businesses during the pandemic. Now Council have asked Town staff to prepare a report looking into a perpetual Business License program, where only new businesses would pay a one-time Business License fee.
Sidney's role in the business licensing process is to ensure that each business is operating in an area permitted under zoning regulations, and to ensure the physical structure of each business is safe for public occupation, meeting all necessary fire and safety regulations.
Temporary bylaw amendment allowing restaurants to convert parking to outdoor seating rescinded
With restaurants in BC no longer restricted by indoor seating limits, Council rescinded a temporary bylaw amendment that allowed Sidney restaurants and cafes to convert up to 50% of their required private parking spaces to an outdoor seating area. Bylaw No. 2197 was adopted in June 2020 in an effort to help local restaurants adapt to pandemic restrictions. Businesses interested in continuing to offer outdoor seating can apply for a permit through the Town.
Sidney’s financial update for 3rd quarter of 2021 released
Council received the second of three budget variance reports for the year, detailing the Town’s financial results for the first three quarters of 2021. These reports, which are posted on the Town’s website, include updated notes on an extensive list of operating functions and capital projects. The latest report notes that 2021 results are on track with budgeted expectations for the year, and good progress is being made on capital plans.
Budget Variance Report
Message from the Mayor regarding Beacon Wharf
Council appreciates that the current wharf is iconic. It has been part of our waterfront and Town character for many decades.
Over the last 10 years, engineering condition assessments of Beacon Wharf, along with the experience gained in spending some $400,000 on repairs, indicate the wharf will reach the end of its life in the coming years.
A major change to the wharf is not imminent. It will likely be several years before the wharf is removed or replaced. But Council felt it was prudent to start the planning process early, during this term. This allows us to take the necessary time to plan for the wharf’s future with input from the community.
The planning process has included an in-depth review of options to replace or not replace the wharf at the end of its life.
This fall, the Town held extensive public engagement to provide information and gain feedback on Beacon Wharf options. These efforts included all information being available on the Town website, a special edition of our Town Talk newsletter, open houses with scale models of three different wharf structures, and a survey that included a section to submit ideas.
The Town received over 1,000 survey responses, as well as letters from the public.
All of the individual survey responses and letters will be available to Council and the public when they are published in the agenda package for a Council meeting in November.
I want to assure members of the public that we are listening and we will consider all viewpoints when we determine next steps in the Beacon Wharf process.
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith