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Sidney spot zone scrapped

Plans for a five-lot residential subdivision in Sidney are back to square one after town councillors said they felt they were misled on the level of support for the project.

Councillor Kenny Podmore said at council’s regular meeting August 11 that council was misled on local confidence in a proposal for five high density residential lots on Brethourpark Way.

“Initial reports stated most neighbours supported this,” he said.

“Council was given the wrong information on this.”

Podmore added it appears this is not the case, in light of a series of presentations on Monday night to council from concerned residents who live next to the property in question in the Greenglade area.

A report from August 6 included a map of 31 neighbouring properties to the site, which under the proposal from Tara Cumming of Cumming Design, proposed to turn three lots into five. Of those neighbouring properties, 21 had indicated support for the plan to the applicant back in December, 2013. Since then, 19 properties (or 31 people) had signed a petition in July against the proposal. Most concerns centre around increased traffic, a lack of parking and safety issues.

“It’s my feeling,” continued Podmore, “that the application be denied tonight.”

Five people living near the proposed subdivision addressed council Monday, all opposing the project.

“There’s no urgency for this,” said resident Jean Winn. “I feel this development is excessive, with a density that seems to be extravagant.”

Scott Garnett added he feels five more houses in a small space would make the area unsafe — especially since there are no sidewalks in the area.

The Town’s advisory planning commission has recommended that the project be redesigned to address traffic and parking concerns. The applicant had been seeking an official community plan and zoning amendments, as well as  development permit to allow the smaller lot units. One resident called it a spot rezoning that’s not consistent with the Town’s OCP.

“Once we start on that path,” said Mayor Larry Cross, “you are locking yourself into that direction. This is a request for a spot zone for higher density in an area we didn’t really want to do that.”

Cross said the entire Greenglade neighbourhood would need a full OCP review first. He added the lack of sidewalks in the area is also being addressed in the Town’s future infrastructure planning work.

“I feel the developer should come back with a draft plan that takes care of the people already there,” added Coun. Tim Chad.

Council unanimously voted against proceeding with the proposal and took that added step of passing a motion to deny the application.

A planned presentation by Cumming Design Monday evening did not occur.

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