This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Reality/Submitted).

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Reality/Submitted).

Sidney warehouse proposal receives more than 40 public feedback comments

Sidney has until May 11 to submit comments to Victoria Airport Authority

Public submissions to Sidney council concerning plans for the proposed warehouse on airport land raise concern about the impact of the building on traffic, surrounding residential neighbourhood environment but also reveal a measure of support.

Not counting late submissions, Sidney council received 44 submissions commenting on plans by York Realty to build a warehouse at 9899 McDonald Park Rd. that would almost be as tall as the Sidney Pier Hotel (just under 23 metres) with a total gross floor area larger than six full-sized soccer fields.

The proposed project valued in excess of $50 million has been the source of much public debate in Sidney and beyond and the May 10 meeting of Sidney council offers the public an opportunity to air their views about the project with the understanding that the Victoria Airport Authority — not council — makes the final decision.

A memorandum of understanding between the municipality and the authority has referred the project to the municipality for comment and council last month delayed its official response — due May 11 — to allow for additional public input.

That input shows considerable public concern about the impact of the project on area traffic, through the major intersection of Beacon Avenue West and Highway 17, as well as the nearby intersection of Galaran Road and Beacon Avenue West.

“I have many objections to this proposal but my greatest one is the increased traffic congestion that will occur,” wrote Joan Richardt in capturing a prevailing point in the submissions.

Even public supporters of the project such as the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Robin Richardson, former chair of Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group (SNSIG) among others are calling for improvements to the local transportation infrastructure with a looming dispute over the nature of those improvements and the sharing of costs.

Sidney staff have called on VAA take an unspecified “leadership role” in working with York Realty, the municipality and other stakeholders to ensure construction and design of a two-lane roundabout at intersection of Beacon Avenue West and Galaran Road, a project likely to cost more than the estimated figure of close to $3 million for a single-lane roundabout and the realignment of Stirling Way.

RELATED: MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

RELATED: Chamber of Commerce promises Sidney warehouse proposal will deliver jobs

RELATED: 23-metre tall warehouse pitched for airport lot next to Sidney neighbourhood

RELATED: Industrial land flying off the shelf at Victoria International Airport

RELATED: Neighbours stunned by massive warehouse proposed near Victoria airport

Documents from the VAA suggest a certain level of resistance toward this recommendation. Citing two studies from the same traffic consultant (one commissioned in part by Sidney, the other commissioned by York Realty), VAA argues that the development “did not singularly trigger a requirement” for a traffic circle at the intersection of Beacon Avenue and Galaran Road while acknowledging such a structure may appear eventually.

Other comments focused on the environmental effects of the project. “Has anyone heard of climate change?” asked Jennifer Margison. “Let’s add more traffic to our already congested roads.”

Other critical submissions focused on the impact of the warehouse, both from a visual and operational perspective on the nearly residential neighbourhood along Galaran Road.

“I do not think such a massive building should be built at this location as it will impact the neighboring housing community with excess noise, traffic and by increasing congestion at (Highway 17) and Beacon Ave,” said Lynda Comber.

While a minority, the proposal also has supporters. While Richard expressed appreciation for the support from some council members for the residents of the area, it has always been zoned commercial, adding that the West Sidney Local Area Plan had envisaged commercial development of this type. “I am certain the developer can mitigate against some of the impacts,” he said.

According to the VAA, York Reality will provide an enhanced landscaping plan and is developing a “green wall” along the east building facade facing Galaran Road.

Supporter Wayne Braid raised the possibility of area homeowners receiving compensation for any possible losses in their home values, while praising the project.

“Having viewed all of the information from the city and the VAA and York Development I am in favour of this development for our town,” he said. “I think this is a ‘clean’ development that will provide employment for people in our area and will provide significant tax revenue that will relieve the reliance on the tax base of homeowners and small (businesses) in our town.”


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read