By Lyonel Doherty
A group of Oliver residents who have signed a petition are worried that their small neighbourhood may be invaded by high-density development.
Several Chardonnay Avenue residents attended Monday’s council meeting to voice their concern.
Four properties in the Chardonnay area are listed for sale. The properties are zoned High Density Residential One (RH1), which permits apartment buildings and townhouses.
At the time of the Official Community Plan update, council had the future use changed to lower density. But with the recent adoption of the new zoning bylaw, the property owners were contacted to determine if they would consider a change in the zoning from RH1 to lower density. Corporate Officer Diane Vaykovich said since there was no response from the owners, the zoning remains RH1.
This concerns some of the neighbours, who worry that a multi-storey development could find its way into their neighbourhood.
Mayor Ron Hovanes said the lot size would likely not permit a five or six-storey structure. That would be the worst case scenario, he noted.
Contract planner Chris Garrish confirmed it would be difficult to develop such a structure, particularly when you have to consider factors such as landscaping and parking requirements.
Councillor Dave Mattes said they would like to see these properties downzoned to lower density, but noted they can’t force the issue.
One neighbour asked what would happen if a potential development on that site doesn’t fit the vision of the community.
Mattes said zoning guidelines will determine if the development fits the “form and function” of the neighbourhood. If it doesn’t, it won’t go forward, he said.
Another neighbour raised a concern about the potential of rental units being developed on that site.
Mattes commented that a high-density development wouldn’t likely sell in today’s market. Hovanes agreed.