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LETTER: Development would dominate Sidney skyline

Sidney’s seaside character is under threat. The enormous five-storey buildings proposed to replace the quiet Cedarwood motel on Lochside Drive would loom over the adjacent residential neighbourhood. But the many downsides to this project are not just local neighbourhood issues – they affect all Sidney residents and visitors.

This excessive overdevelopment would harm the charming nature of the southern approach to Sidney along Lochside Drive. It would also seriously damage the visual impression of Sidney’s shoreline as seen from the water, making us a far less attractive town to visit and stay.

Sidney has made Lochside Drive a gentle and beautiful introduction to the town, with many amenities such as the seawall walk, attractive plantings, public boat ramp, pullout ocean viewpoints, and Tulista and Iroquois parks, encouraging folks to linger in Sidney and not speed on to Victoria. Seen from the water, the Cedarwood redevelopment would visually rival Sidney’s downtown, a very unwelcome distortion of our skyline.

Sidney’s beautiful road and sea approaches must not be dominated and interrupted by gigantic buildings of such inappropriate height and size that they would be excessive even for downtown.

The developer is attempting to fast-track approval of these monstrosities with an OCP amendment application before Christmas. If this tactic succeeds the new OCP will be stillborn even before its first draft is issued. I call on Sidney mayor and council to make sure resident concerns are heard and addressed.

Sidney by the Sea is not just a catchphrase – it reflects values deeply held by residents. It must not be lost to developer hubris, greed, and overreach.

Gerald Moffat

Sidney