Sidney house plans on hold

Sidney council holds off on granting permit until talks happen

Neighbours of a property on Amelia Avenue in Sidney will talk with the homeowner and town staff about ways to lessen the impact of planned renovations.

The owner, Ken Wright, has applied to the town for a development variance permit to allow him to add a third story to the house. The variance would require the town to relax existing height and setback restrictions in its existing regulations.

Nearby residents spoke to council June 10, expressing concern that a taller home — one that already does not conform to current bylaws — will negatively impact them. Their issues ranged from loss of privacy to something that doesn’t fit in with the character of the neighbourhood.

Wright, also at the meeting, says he has lived there for 35 years, has no intention to leave and wants to upgrade his home. He said he didn’t want to be punished for having a home that was built in the 1920s and as the town’s rules changed, no longer conforms to current zoning rules.

“I want to make the home liveable,” he said, “with the least amount of impact on my community.”

Wright, his neighbours and council expressed the desire to talk further and to seek other options. Mayor Larry Cross noted that council will slow things down when public concerns are expressed, in order to assess any negative impacts.

“If there are any changes,” added Councillor Marilyn Loveless, “the proper process still holds, including informing neighbours within a 250-metre radius (of the property).”

Chief administrative officer Randy Humble noted that holds true only for changes that fall outside of the scope of the original application. Coun. Tim Chad added, however, that he’ll insist any changes — even small ones — be communicated to the neighbours.

Council did not set a timeline on the discussions.