The public affected by the city’s new zoning bylaw was given a chance to voice concerns at Monday’s council meeting.
Five people spoke with concerns regarding a property near Red Mountain that would lose its single-family dwelling status. It would be classed as park status and resource management, and would not allow for a cabin or other house to be built.
Bill Mickelthwaite, Zane Bouvette and Betty Van Holdren made the trip down from Vancouver to protest the rezoning of their property.
Van Holdren said she bought the property 25 years ago and put in a lot of work reclaiming the land from mining degradation, along with the other owners.
Van Holdren also said she had 23 maps of the property to share with council that were more accurate than the city’s.
The three asked council to rescind the bylaw and review it in another meeting.
Mayor Granstrom gave council two choices:
“Address those concerns and proceed or address those concerns and digress,” Granstrom said, explaining that after the long process to get to third reading, it would be easier to try to accommodate the concerns via amendment once the bylaw passes third reading.
Council voted 5-2 to move to third reading and asked city staff to bring back the resolutions that they heard in council.
Councillors Andy Stradling and Laurie Charlton voted against the motion.
Coun. Kathy Moore said the idea to amend the bylaw was excellent on many levels.
“I don’t want to go a year and a half back again,” Moore said.
Coun. Hanne Smith appreciated the strategy as well.
“I would like to see the concerns addressed and this seems like a fair way to do this without going back to the start,” Smith said.
Coun. Andy Stradling wondered why council would be so reluctant to rescind the document.
“I think there’s a bit of process that needs to be followed,” Stradling said.
The mayor said that if they rescinded they would have to make amendments anyway, which could be a stumbling block for the future council.
“It’s an onerous task for the new council to go through what we’ve gone through,” he said.
“The point is there isn’t a rush that development is being held up. We’ll bring it back to council as an amendment to the bylaw.”
He added this was the most expedient way to deal with this bylaw.
City manager Victor Kumar said city staff would communicate with those property owners.
“The easiest way to deal with this is to make a recommendation,” Kumar said. “Council is changing, but the staff is staying the same.”
Kumar said rescinding would be made complicated because they would have to go back to deal with the Official Community Plan as well.