I came to Sidney over 40 years ago, mainly for my occupation, where I was thrilled to finally be able to live in a seaside town (a young lad’s dream).
And what a beautiful small town I discovered Sidney to be. A quaint main street with shops surrounded by small houses and cottages in addition to a fine waterfront.
Slegg Lumber was located in the downtown, as weas Star Weekly news agent, Craigmyle Motel (no great loss) and many memories of the town as it was. “Fixer-uppers” were sought out by young couples as a means to enter the housing market, and at that time, homes were realistically “affordable.”
Now developers are snapping up anything remotely affordable, tearing it down and building mini-mansions with prices out of reach to many buyers and renters. What happened to building modest homes similar to ones that many of us grew up in? Multi-residential buildings are being proposed by developers which would have “affordable” units. Affordable to whom I ask?
In the last few years, we have seen nothing but densification of Sidney’s downtown area, with a proliferation of high-rise condos blocking much-needed sunlight from downtown streets. More are being built to house people with seemingly bottomless wallets, that are chomping at the proverbial bit to come to the area and pay ridiculous and exorbitant prices for homes. And the building goes on, encouraging more people to come here. Who asked for all this densification? Do we really need more people in our town? More people, more cars, more pollution, does all this make sense to anyone?
Will our infrastructure need constantly upgrading, including our already stretched medical services? People are flocking here – good luck finding a family doctor, or a walk-in clinic where you don’t have to camp outside to possibly get seen by a medical professional. Will our local hospital eventually get overwhelmed?
Times change, some progress and modernization must, and will occur, but at what cost? I sense that turning our downtown areas into a condo jungle with an exponentially increasing population is not a prudent way forward.