Trail council gave the green light to the Birchwood Drive development.
Birchwood Drive residents were contacted and council addressed their concerns at a Nov. 23 public hearing, regarding further expansion as part of Phase 4 development of the subdivision.
In a Dec. 14 meeting, council unanimously approved the third reading of the zoning bylaw no. 2895 and bylaw no. 2896, which effectively cleared the way to extend the subdivision located above Waneta Mall.
Rikhi Development Corp. and Sherjay Construction and Management sought to rezone a portion of the property from rural holdings-A1 to single family and two-family residential (duplexes).
The owner/developers also requested that an amendment to the Official Community Plan (OCP) change the designation of the land from open space to single detached residential.
With the bylaw amendments approved, the number of lots developed can also increase from three units to five or six developed lots. Also, an increase in the size of Lot B to two hectares is also slated to increase the area for the Phase 4 subdivision, making it considerably more feasible.
The bylaw amendments will facilitate the construction of the subdivision, so that it is “compatible with the existing development situated along Birchwood DrI’ve and Devito Drive,” explained Corporate Administrator Michelle McIsaac in her report to council.
Residents, however, are worried that the construction could adversely impact their properties.
Concerns included possible damage to their home’s foundation due to nearby construction, and its impact on slope stability and groundwater due to excavation on the hillside behind their homes.
In addition, construction would ruin the pristine mountain-side view and privacy, and contribute to an increase in traffic and speeding through the residential area.
“If the property there gets developed, I will no longer have the beautiful view I fell in love with when I purchased the home,” wrote one resident. “If homes are built on the side of the mountain, I no longer will have the privacy that I so wanted all of my life.”
One contractor wrote in support of the project: “We believe that this rezoning to single family and two family residential zone opens up more opportunity to provide single family and multi-family homes to prospective buyers. It welcomes new residents to the area in addition to adding to the tax base in Trail.”
According to a recent housing needs report released by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, Trail is in dire need of new and modern housing and the addition of single and two-family residential will fill some of the gaps addressed by the study.
“As indicated, notwithstanding some of the concerns raised, council is dealing with land use in the context of the bylaws advanced,” wrote Chief Administrative Officer, David Perehudoff. “It is noted within the report that even if council did not approve the bylaws, construction could occur regardless.
“The approval would afford the opportunity to densify through the creation of additional lots as part of the subdivision approval process.”