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LETTER: Council makes about-face on development

We recently became aware that changes were made to the decisions regarding the designated area on the east side portion of the Cedarwood Inn site from 2.5-storey townhouses to multi-use and condos. This is of particular concern to us as we live across the road.

Why did this become an about-face from council? The optics indicate that perhaps influence was incurred from the mentioned but not spoken about letter sent by the representative of GMC and Chard Development companies. It concludes that producing close to 200 new residences would be the only opportunity for any development. We are not alone in disagreeing with that inaccurate assessment. This is a prime seaside property, worthy of so many possibilities, not just high density and incongruous profit-driven ones, be that for the developers or the town’s coffers.

If there are any other reasons for this reversal, we (residents of Sidney) need to be apprised of them. Timing here again is not beyond suspicious. The May 5 decisions regarding Cedarwood were drafted for public consumption May 19. They were the only versions available up until June 9 before the end of the business day. Very few concerned residents will be aware of these changes and not able to review them. Why were these community-changing differences not openly and prominently circulated to us early enough for a community response?

Delaying the OCP to allow public input is in the interest of proper governance. This new OCP should reflect this society’s vision for the next couple of decades. Potential developers must adhere to aligning themselves to the community’s goals and interests rather than to their own profit-driven ones. After all, they do not live here – we do. By council capitulating or pandering to them indicates that transparency seems to have failed our citizenry and perhaps the new OCP will give more opportunity for disharmonious projects unless it is fairly redesigned to have the best interests of the entirety of our quaint seaside character and residents in mind.

Karen Whyte & Trevor Harton