Serious effects of Sidney zoning bylaw loom: resident

Sidney resident alarmed about possible effects on mortgage, insurance ability under possibly zoning bylaw change

Re: Owners dispair zoning change (News, June 1)

As an angered First Street resident, I have been gathering names and informing residents of the newly invented RM5 zoning, which robs some people of their rights to redevelop or even add a baby’s room to their previously legal homes.

Monday, May 28, council gave third and almost final approval to a deceitful and draconian bylaw which stops many Fifth Street residents from adding a second floor room or anything except paint and shingles to their homes.

Formerly full sized lots with the option to tear down and rebuild or sell that right have had it stripped away by town staff. Now these 60 to 80 homes must remain in their 1945 and newer condition absolutely unaltered until a developer or speculator approved by the town chooses to pay them a fraction of their true market value and build evermore highly priced condos in their place.

Other streets targeted by Sidney staff for red circling and stripping of rights, expectations and market value include older homes on Resthaven Drive, Malaview Avenue, McDonald Park Road, and First and Second streets.

In short, some of these red circled properties will have lost almost half their value overnight if the zoning bylaw changes go ahead.

Sales are already collapsing on these red circled homes.

Four major lenders have already suggested high ratio financing may not be available to purchasers, if a mortgage will be offered at all.

These homes are not only legal non-conforming; now they are actually a non permitted use as well. Meaning if destroyed by fire beyond 75 per cent they can not be rebuilt as single family dwellings and 90 per cent of them are too small to build anything at all under this newly invented RM5 zone.

A door to door survey of 25 affected homes found all 25 residents willing to allow themselves to be described as totally uninformed and totally opposed to this new zoning.

What can we do? One single retired lady sobbed, “This is my life savings, all I have.”

Ray Headrick

Sidney

 

Editor’s note: The Peninsula News Review contacted Town of Sidney staff to respond to some points made in Ray Headrick’s letter.

Alison Verhagen, manager of planning said the RM5 zone is similar to RM3, but allows higher density. Residents wishing to rebuild a single-family house or make structural changes, including additions, to a house in this zone could apply to the board of variance.

Any concerns about mortgages on properties that would become non-conforming under this zoning bylaw would need to be discussed with a mortgage broker.

Sidney council can no longer receive public feedback about the bylaw. They will take a final vote on the amendments at an upcoming meeting.

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