A Sidney development proposal has nearby residents concerned about the future of the skyline and character in their corner of the seaside community.
The Rise, slated for 9570 and 9574 Fifth Street, is a 16-unit, four-storey condominium, proposed to sell one- to three-bedroom units, ranging in price from $500,000 to $1.1 million. On Sept. 9, the Town of Sidney sent the proposal to the next stage: the advisory planning commission.
The height of the building is a top concern for Joanne Edwards, whose home backs onto the proposed location. The Rise will stand between her family’s yard and the nearby Tulista Park.
“Well for us and those that live behind, it will be very obtrusive,” she said. “It will impact people’s view of the park, light, privacy, [we’ll be] having those units peer into our background … and really just change the nature of the neighbourhood.”
But developer Mike Geric Construction noted to council the proposal is consistent with Sidney’s Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw designations – to provide multi-family residential housing. The developer’s variance request was for the construction of a retaining wall within the building’s setback – a requirement under Sidney’s flood construction level policy.
Still, Edwards isn’t the only local expressing concern.
During the Sept. 9 meeting, council received four letters of support and and several opposition letters.
Residents of homes along Schooner Close, Marvette Place, Iroquois Way and Weiler Avenue sent in 20 letters as a “collective statement of concern and objective.”
“The building will effectively tower over our neighbourhood and forever change the feel and character of the family-residential neighbourhood, where we have chosen to live,” the statement reads, going on to ask that the redevelopment is limited two or two-and-a-half storeys so it conforms to the rest of the neighbourhood.
“Just because you can build something under current zoning does not mean you should.”
“We have had positive staff feedback in terms of meeting the intent of the OCP and we have worked very hard with staff to ensure we meet the development permit guidelines,” said Greg Gillespie, development manager for Mike Geric Construction.
Gillespie noted the proposal has and will continue to operate under pre-determined zoning and regulation rules.
“When we look at the types of developments and housing we build, we look to the town’s polices for guidance, we look at the OCP, the zoning bylaw and development permit guidelines, and those are really the documents that guide the form and character of developments.”
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