A warehouse and distribution facility proposed to the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) was presented to Sidney council Monday evening.
According to a staff report presented to council on April 26th, York Realty has applied to the VAA for the construction of a 486,937 square foot multi-storey distribution warehouse facility at 9899 McDonald Park Road.
The realtor is representing a business tenant whose identity has not been publicly disclosed. During the presentation, the facility’s purpose was identified as being a delivery site for a large-scale distributor.
The height of the proposed facility is 22.76 metres. This exceeds the VAA’s height regulations, but Town of Sidney staff say the authority has accepted a variance.
The height also exceeds the Town of Sidney’s regulations, however, the final decision for approval of the development rests with VAA.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the VAA and the Town of Sidney requires that applications on VAA lands be forwarded for review to the Town of Sidney and/or District of North Saanich.
“We’re not the decision-makers,” said Sidney councillor Peter Wainwright during Monday’s presentation.
“Basically, all we do is make some recommendations to VAA. We’ve got a good relation, they’ll probably follow them. But I’m certain that our community’s going to have quite a bit of interest in this.”
Wainwright went on to express concerns with public engagement, saying that a significant portion of the community is likely to not have heard about the development until Monday night’s presentation.
Matt Woolsey, president of York Realty, said his company was only following the application process and that he could not take ownership of frustrations with that process.
“We are absolutely open to feedback from the community,” he said in reply to a question from Wainwright on if there would be more opportunities for engagement.
Other councillors expressed reservations about how the large-scale development could affect the direction of the community.
“This is something that is going to be with us and shape who we are in the future, so we have to look at this very, very carefully,” said councillor Barbara Fallot.
“For me, it is the personality of who we are as a community, and what this is going to do for us. Is it a price that we’re willing to pay? Are the benefits something that our community wants?”
In order to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding between the VAA and the Town of Sidney, the Town must respond with comments to the proposal by May 11, 2021.
Public feedback for the proposal can be submitted through email.