Here are some of the key projects and initiatives completed by the Town over the last few years.
The most recent update to the Town of Sidney’s OCP began in March 2020. Following a two-year process of community engagement and plan development, Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2240 was adopted by Council following a Public Hearing on June 27, 2022 and reflects the values and shared vision of the community.
An Economic Development Plan has been prepared for Sidney and was approved by Council at the January 23, 2023 Council meeting. The plan looks at a cross-section of the community’s economic sectors, including marine, industrial, tourism, commercial/retail, and transportation.
Planning was undertaken by Lions Gate Consulting with input from Sidney’s business community. The plan includes recommendations for initiatives that may be undertaken over the next five-to-seven years to support the success of the local economy. The plan identifies 14 priorities, including employment land preservation, and expansion of non-market/workforce housing, among others.
In 2021, the Town of Sidney began the process to update its Climate Action Plan. The intent of this update was to ensure that the updated plan was consistent with current best practices and the latest science.
Approved by Council on July 18, 2022, the updated Climate Action Plan will help make sure that Sidney is resilient to new risks associated with climate change and outline how Sidney is planning to participate in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additional information can be found on the Climate Action Plan page.
In keeping with Sidney’s 2021-2022 Strategic Plan, the Town has been working with service providers to improve internet and cellular services throughout the community, as part of a broader effort to support economic vibrancy.
In July 2021, the Town announced an agreement with TELUS to connect Sidney with its gigabit-enabled fibre optic network (TELUS PureFibre™). The construction of the new network is now complete, funded by TELUS. The fibre optic network significantly increases wireless and Internet speeds, helping the community attract and retain local businesses. It also give residents who choose to purchase this service from TELUS better connection for working and learning remotely, video calls, streaming, gaming and other purposes.
Beacon Wharf is a timber structure which has been in place for over 50 years. The Town has been looking into future options for Beacon Wharf as the structure is estimated to have a remaining life of less than 10 years. The Town of Sidney took ownership of Beacon Wharf in 2006 after it was divested by the Federal Government. The infrastructure is aging and, like all waterfront marine structures, requires frequent inspection and maintenance. Following engineering studies on potential wharf replacement options, the public was invited during September and October 2021 to review options and share their perspectives. There was strong community engagement reflecting the significance of the landmark.
On November 8th 2021, Council decided to maintain Beacon Wharf for as long as practical. A condition assessment of the wharf will be undertaken in 2023, at which point Council will consider next steps. A public-private partnership on a floating wharf, which was initially put forward as an option, will no longer be considered as a result of public feedback.
The existing commercial leases on the wharf will be extended until the end of 2024 with the potential of further extensions.
From 2019 to 2020, the Town of Sidney upgraded the Reay Creek Dam to meet current safety and seismic standards. In conjunction with this work, Transport Canada undertook remediation of Reay Creek and Reay Creek Pond. These areas had become contaminated sites with heavy metals due to run off from the adjacent airport lands. This work has improved habitat conditions for ḰELSET (Reay Creek), which provides habitat for salmon, cutthroat trout, and other aquatic life and wildlife.