Sandown Commons has been in planning for going on five years now and is expected to eventually be about 160,000 square feet in size
Sidney Gateway has just started the approval process but Sidney seems to be moving quickly on it. It is planned to be 100,000 square feet.
This is a total of 260,000 square feet of new retail space all to the west of the highway and not close to where anyone lives. Here are my issues with them:
- The demand to cross Highway #17 at Beacon is going to increase and this will cause traffic backups because of the ferries
- At the moment Sidney has a walkable downtown core. You can drive there, park your car and do all your business. These developments disperse the retail environment of Sidney in a bad way
- Sidney already has all the stores that people need. Three grocery stores for 23,000 people seems more than is really needed If each new development has a 40,000 square foot grocery store of some sort I really have to wonder where the customers will come from to keep them in business
- Finally, this is a perfect case for joint planning my North Saanich and Sidney. At the moment the two developments seem to be causing strife between the councils.