Councillors are moving forward in support of the rezoning of a lot on Willow Street, to allow two homes to be built there.
Developer Tony Rahnborn with Kellton Contracting said he has plans to build two two-storey homes with 412 to 512 pitched roofs, keeping below the height restriction in the zoning bylaw, with a classy build in the style of the neighbourhood. A public hearing was held June 3 on whether to rezone lot 24 to allow the developer to subdivide the property and build two homes on the land.
There were always two lots at 607 Willow, and always at least two houses built there said Rahnborn. Building three homes there will make it more affordable for young families to purchase on a smaller piece of land he added.
“That’s the way the scale of land seems to be going in our current marketplace,” he said. “We’re happy to build well-constructed homes…for families to move into Hope and enjoy this neighborhood, which is a great neighborhood, and that’s exactly why we’ve chosen to leave our application in single family residential, and we’re not looking to do anything outside of single family residential.”
Eight letters were received, seven in opposition to the proposed rezoning. Joan Nichols, writing in support, stated she was very happy with the development. “It will certainly improve our street, no more eyesore on the corner of Allison and Willow,” she stated.
The letters of opposition detailed fears about less privacy and potentially increased street parking, as well as noise and odours. “Three houses facing us where there was formerly one would not allow us any privacy on our deck and in the yard,” wrote Debra and Garth Jenneson, who live across the street from the proposed development.
Lynn and Rick Whidden noted the potential effects on neighbours including ‘lack of sunshine or vistas’ and ‘noise, odours and visuals difficult to avoid,’ and stated the zoning change would ‘set an undesirable precedent’ for the neighbourhood. Greg and Ardith McConnell, one street down on Hazel Street, agreed the development would go against the ‘feel and structure’ of the neighbourhood.
“This is a community of all age groups that specifically chose to live in the area because of the rural feel with the lawns and gardens, to be able to have backyard BBQs and family get-togethers. To give our children the ability to race around yards and play hockey in the driveway,” they wrote.
Several letter writers stated their concern with how multiple dwellings could lead to congestion on the street and issues with parking. Rahnborn said the homes will have 20 foot driveways and double garages, allowing a minimum of four cars in the driveways not including the garage space.
In addition to noise and parking, Tammy Dawn who lives in the neighbouring home said flooding was also a ‘huge concern with the manipulation of any direction of water flow as with down pipes and potential rock pits or the grading of the property.”
Rahnborn said he couldn’t speak to the land use issues like noise and odours, but added that ‘we’re a proud construction company, hoping to increase the value of that current neighbourhood by building classy structures.” He added the development was ‘in keeping with the times’ and would improve the marketplace in Hope.
“It is obviously more dense, but there is 5,000 to 10,000 square foot lots all surrounding the streets of Hazel, Wardle and Willow. It’s a wide variety of sizes that are in there, including the one that was done, only about seven or eight years ago at 626 Willow,” he said.
Council showed their support for rezoning the property at a June 8 council meeting, by voting in unanimous support at a third reading of the zoning amendment. It now has to go to the transportation ministry for approval, after which council will vote on whether to rezone the lot to compact single-family residential.