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.
Council begins process of making recommendations to Victoria Airport Authority on proposed hotel
In keeping with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Town of Sidney and Victoria Airport Authority (VAA), Sidney Council has been invited to review and provide comment on a proposal to build a hotel and restaurant on VAA lands at the southwest corner of the Pat Bay Highway and Beacon Avenue West intersection. Council does not give approvals for developments on federal lands, however recommendations from Council are considered by the VAA.
After clarifying aspects of the hotel and restaurant proposal through questions to VAA representatives and the project proponents at the September 12 meeting, Council decided to defer their recommendations for the VAA to the following meeting (September 26). The additional time is intended to give members of the public and Council time to consider and provide input based on the latest project information. It will also give Town staff an opportunity to take a more in-depth look at how the proposal aligns with current development guidelines. Lastly, it will ensure the proposal package is more complete; an updated traffic study being developed by the proponents incorporating a roundabout planned for Beacon Avenue West and a realigned Stirling Way, will be available by the September 26 meeting date.
Council to sponsor South Island Powwow on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day
On September 30, the Town of Sidney will recognize the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, along with their families, and communities. This spring, Sidney joined the Capital Region’s 13 municipalities in reaching out to local First Nations on guidance for meaningfully recognizing the statutory holiday. As a result of the input received, the Town will lower its flags to half-mast on September 30 and provide a $5,000 sponsorship to the South Island Powwow to be held at Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park that same day.
Fireworks ban to expand to include a buffer zone of 200m around Environmentally Sensitive Areas
In February 2022, in response to community concerns about the possible noise impact of Halloween fireworks on wildlife, Council directed staff to amend the Town’s Fireworks Bylaw to prohibit the discharge of fireworks in or near the designated Environmentally Sensitive Areas of Roberts Bay and KEL,SET (Reay Creek). The updated bylaw has now been given three readings by Council and will take effect once the bylaw is adopted, likely on September 26. Community members planning to discharge fireworks outside of prohibited areas must continue to apply for a Family Fireworks Display Permit from the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department.
Contract awarded to replace public washrooms on Fourth Street in downtown Sidney
Council has approved the purchase of a custom-built Britco trailer to serve as a new public washroom facility on Fourth Street in downtown Sidney at the existing site of an aging public washroom facility. After two unsuccessful attempts to procure bids for an event-type trailer washroom facility within the established budget, the project budget has been increased to $160,000 for the anticipated cost of a new washrooms. The new budget will cover the cost of the washrooms, as well as installation and the construction of an accessible ramp. The new washrooms are expected to be completed in 2023.
Council renews BIA’s agreement to operate Sidney Visitor Centre for another 5-year term
Earlier in 2022, the Sidney Business Improvement Area (BIA) Society received Council approval for another five-year term to the end of 2027. To continue with key aspects of the BIA’s work, Council has now renewed two related five-year agreements. The first agreement will allow the BIA to continue to operate the Sidney Visitor Centre at their current location on Beacon Avenue to provide service and guidance to visitors. Second, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Town and Sidney BIA for an Event Liaison/Facilitator position was renewed for an additional five-year term. Through the MOU, the Town covers a portion of the Event Liaison/Facilitator salary; the position manages several community events such as Treat Street and Christmas in Sidney.
Celebration Station coming to Sidney during Go By Bike Week in October
Taking part in Go By Bike Week this fall (October 3 to 9) is about to become more fun as the Town will be sponsoring a Celebration Station in Sidney. Go By Bike Week is a province-wide event that takes place twice a year to encourage people to get more experience cycling and potentially consider using this form of active transportation more often in their lives. Go By Bike Celebration Stations give people a biking destination and offer snacks, prize opportunities, light bike maintenance, and other biking-related activities. The RCMP will also be joining Sidney’s Go By Bike Celebration Station to promote Project 529, a non-profit bike-registration organization that partners with local police to prevent bike theft and aid in bike recovery.
Council committed $3,500 to the Celebration Station, with funding from the Local Government Climate Action Program. The Celebration Station is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday October 5, between 4 pm and 6 pm at Iroquois Park.
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith