Two bay or not two bay

A variance on a new two-bay carport on Thompson Avenue drew the ire of several neighbours as council heard submissions on the application.

A variance on a new two-bay carport on Thompson Avenue drew the ire of several neighbours as city council heard submissions on the application.

Four people petitioned city council to not approve the carport proposed for the rear of 2362 Thompson Ave., citing loss of sight lines, loss of light, poor alley access and issues with snow removal as legitimate concerns.

The owner had requested a reduced rear setback from two metres to 0.3 metres—a 1.7 metre variance—and a height variance from 4.5 m. to 5.17 m., a 0.67 m. variance. The current zoning bylaw permited a single-car wide carport to be located 0.3 m. from the property line while a two-car wide carport has to comply with a 2 m. rear setback.

“If approved this would affect the sight lines of people who have made developments that are in accordance with the bylaw,” said one neighbour.

Another neighbour said the “monster” carport would reduce the light she received in her garden nearby.

“And, unlike some of my neighbours, I live here all year round,” she said.

City planning staff visited the property and determined any shading of the neighbour’s yard was minimal because the carport would be located 3.9 m. from the neighbouring property and was likely not high enough to cast a shadow that far.

But the protests, although noted by council, were not enough to deny the application. Council deliberated on if they should deny the variance based on the neighbours’ obvious dissatisfaction with the development.

However, it was determined that a carport of some note could still be put into the yard even if the variance was denied.

“So if we say no to this something will still happen there?” asked councillor Jody Blomme. “But the fact that we heard from so many neighbours concerns me.”

The height variance was needed due to the topography of the site. There is a steep drop from the alley down to the home, which affects the height measurement of the proposed carport.

At alley level the proposed garage is 4.1 m. which is lower than the maximum permitted in the zoning bylaw, said city manager of planning and development, Mike Maturo.

“The appearance from this angle would not be a ‘monster garage’ out of proportion with the form and character of the neighbourhood,” he said.

The applicant has already built the foundation for the carport under the previous zoning bylaw which allowed a two-bay carport to be built 0.3 m. from the property line.

The proposed carport would enable parking at the rear of the property, said Maturo, utilizing the alley for access, therefore moving his vehicles off Thompson Avenue.

“The two-bay carport will not hinder operations because it is located adjacent to a non serviced lane way,” Maturo said in his report.

The development variance permit application was reviewed by the planning and public works departments and no significant issues were noted with the variance.

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