A proposed development at 2445 Otter Point Rd. received a rough ride at the last district council meeting with Coun. Tony St-Pierre calling the proposal absurd.
At issue was a request by the owners to re-zone the property from a designation of large lot residential to medium lot residential. That move would have allowed the densification of the property and an increase in the number of houses on the property to 27 from 16.
The application also included a request to decrease the buffer zone between the development and the adjacent agricultural land reserve land from the required five-metre span to three metres, a move that compelled several neighbours and at least two councillors to speak out, calling the request unacceptable.
St-Pierre went on to criticize the applicant’s proposal to skirt the official community plan’s requirement that single-family residential subdivisions contain at least 10 per cent affordable housing by contributing a cash-in-lieu payment of $1,000 per lot.
“The $1,000 offered is just not enough. Why would we agree to this? It’s absurd,” said St-Pierre.
Coun. Ebony Logins also spoke in opposition to the proposal, noting parking was a major concern for her, as was the fact that there are no sidewalks in the area.
“This site is a detriment to our community. Our community has to ask for what we deserve (in applications of this kind),” said Logins.
The general sentiment of council continued to be consistent with the feelings expressed by St-Pierre and Logins and, in the end, the motion to give first and second reading to the zoning amendment was unanimously defeated.
This means that the applicant has to wait a minimum of six months to again bring forward another proposal, during which time he is invited to work with municipal staff to try to resolve the issues that had been raised.
“We need paths for cyclists and pedestrians. What we had here is the potential for 54 more cars and no parking,” said St-Pierre.
“We need park space, perhaps a community garden … taking cash in lieu is absurd. The community has to get something back when we approve something like this instead of bending over every time we’re asked (to approve a re-zoning like this).”