Council gets earful on proposed rezoning

Packed public meeting opposes zoning changes to allow for duplex, triplex structures near Mount Royal neighbourhood.

Cranbrook city council got an earful from concerned residents concerned about the proposed rezoning of two parcels of property near the Mount Royal neighbourhood at a public hearing on Monday night.

The properties, which are on either side of Eagleridge Crescent adjacent to 30th Ave N, are currently zoned at R1 – Single Family Extended Resident, however, the property owner is appealing to council to rezone the classification to R2 – Three and Four Family Residential Zone.

Neighbouring homeowners, who came out in droves with standing room only in council chambers, took turns making their submission to council—universally arguing against the proposed rezoning.

Karen Churchill, who lives in the area, said she consulted with her neighbours and wrote a letter to the city, which she read in front of council.

Churchill wrote that she is strongly opposed to the proposed rezoning, noting that the potential construction of duplexes, triplex or a four-plex will depreciate nearby property values, be an eyesore and attract low-income and “certain types of people.”

Gerry Vanhooren, president of the Northwood Estates strata council—a gated community that abuts the south side of one of the properties—argued his concerns about neighbourhood compatibility

“I noticed in some submissions or some reports that, on the recommendation side from staff, that compatibility with the neighbourhood was not addressed at all,” Vanhooren said.

“I think that’s one of the most important things, is how compatible are the structures that you anticipate in relation to whats already there, especially when there are 300-plus already built, and we’re talking about two small parcels of land.”

Wayne Ostash, the owner of the two subject properties who is applying for the zoning change, said he has no intention of putting duplexes or triplexes around the Northwood Estate community.

However, he added that there are existing duplexes around Eagleridge Crescent, and if any duplex or triplex structures were going anywhere, it’d be in proximity to the existing ones.

“Nothing is going to be two storeys high,” Ostash said. “You can tell along right behind the Quad ball field, they’ve done a beautiful job some of the duplexes and three-plexes there, and they’re quite attractive.

“That’s what we’re hoping to achieve.”

Ostash sympathized with the homeowners of Northwood Estates.

“I wouldn’t want a bunch of great big four-plexes and duplexes behind my house either,” Ostash said. “Keep it simple, keep it low, and the property, the way it develops, the road is probably going to be a bit lower than what the houses are. You’re going to have a house sitting up a wee bit.

“And that’s where we’re at with that.”

Upon questioning from Councillor Ron Popoff, Ostash added that the rezoning application isn’t a license for him to pursue building whatever structures he wants; the application to R2 zoning is just another option in the development toolkit.

“We’ve been around Cranbrook a long time, we’re not out here to step on anyone’s toes,” said Ostash. “…I guess I’m still old-school—a man’s word—but lots of people don’t buy that.

“You’re right. [The] zoning will give us the capabilities to do all those things, but it’s not our intention.”

Following the public hearing, City Council brought up the issue in their regular meeting, where it was promptly voted down.

While council opposed the rezoning of the two properties, the issue of affordable housing was raised by Councillor Danielle Cardozo.

“I do hope that this community will take a strong look at what duplexes have started to become in communities like ours, where housing prices have become higher,” Cardozo said.

“I will say, that when statements are made that it’s a ‘certain type of person’ that buys into these—my first home was a duplex. That was my house, and I tell you, the description of people who own these houses or could own these houses—I didn’t fit that description.”

Cardozo said she would support the zoning change if it came back to council with covenants that the structures were only duplexes and owner-occupied, not rental properties.

 

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read