A new hotel could be in the works for the site of Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn and Suites on Lochside Drive — but people will be given a chance to talk about it well before designs are on the table.
Jack Barker and Ron Phillips of Re/Max Camosun Peninsula are planning on hosting a series of public information meetings as the owners of the current motel are looking at redeveloping the 3.25 acre site. They emphasize that there are no definite plans at this stage and their intent is to include as many people as possible at the public meetings before an actual design takes shape.
The first such meeting is already set for Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre at Sidney All Care Residence on Mills Road.
In an interview, Barker said he has done something similar to this in the past — holding public sessions prior to any development planning. He said they’re doing it again this time around due to potential for public interest in the development to be high.
In recent weeks, development projects in downtown Sidney have taken centre stage among community groups and in front of Sidney councillors. The pace of growth continues to have people watching how their community will be changing.
Barker and Phillips said they’ve been meeting with the Town of Sidney already, to gauge their feelings and wants for the Cedarwood site. Barker said the Town has indicated it would like to see a ‘named hotel’ there, in addition to lower-cost, family-oriented housing. Seniors housing is, apparently, not high on any priority list for that site.
That would likely take the form of condos, added Barker, and thought is already being given to possibly taking whatever is built there higher than what the current official community plan allows in the area. Issues like multiple storeys and underground parking will likely be on people’s minds during the meetings, he said.
“We’re going to be talking about how to do it right,” Barker said.
The information meetings are designed, in part, to keep neighbours of the property informed. There have been regular complaints from people who say they were not kept abreast of potential developments prior to designs going to the municipality for approval.
“People are already asking us questions,” Barker said. “We’re not hearing that much negative stuff, mostly people are pleased there’s an opportunity to talk.”
Barker and Phillips have invited representatives from local community watchdog groups and neighbours of Cedarwood Inn to attend the meetings.