By ROY WOOD
A couple dozen residents crowded the Osoyoos council chamber this afternoon to object to a six-unit townhouse development proposed for a low-lying site between 92nd Avenue and Lambert Crescent.
The applicants, Richard and Patricia Voigt, are seeking a rezoning for the just under one-acre site at 9111 92nd Avenue, which is already identified in the town’s Official Community Plan as suitable for high-density development.
According to a report from senior planner Don McArthur, even though a rezoning to high-density would potentially allow 28 units on the property, “The applicant is proposing the modest, six-unit, single-story development as it would fit well into the character of the neighborhood.”
McArthur wrote that the cost of potential upgrades of 92nd Avenue, along with sewer, water and storm water development costs would be borne by the developer. He pointed out that sewer and storm water pumping may be required and those costs would be the responsibility of the strata corporation.
A number of residents along 92nd and Lambert spoke in opposition at this afternoon’s public hearing. Among the objects raised were:
- The construction noise, dust, and fumes from putting down asphalt will have a negative effect on the “neighbours’ health and well-being;”
- The flood risk on the property is high and the town could eventually be on the hook for possible legal liability if it approves the project;
- Loss of greenspace: the property contains several mature trees and they might be eliminated to accommodate the development;
- Access and safety issues along 92nd Avenue — which lacks adequate lighting and sidewalks — with potential addition of 12 vehicles to the traffic load;
- Given the magnitude of the nearby, soon-to-be-built Peanut Pond development, the additional units won’t provide a significant addition to housing stock and perhaps the town should focus on Peanut Pond;
- The demolition of the aging home on the property will create much non-recyclable material and put a strain on the local landfill.
The developers did not attend the public hearing, but sent a letter to the mayor and council defending the development. Among the points they made was that the six units would all be just one storey, helping to fill a neglected niche in the local housing inventory.
Town staff supports the proposal: “Subject to public hearing feedback, staff support the rezoning as the proposed development is aligned with the Official Community Plan and will provide additional hosing for residents.”
The application will come back to council at a future meeting for third-reading approval.