Montrose Council hears concerns over modular homes

Strong public opposition to a variance application filled the room at Monday night's regular council meeting in Montrose.

Strong public opposition to a variance application filled the room at Monday night’s regular council meeting in Montrose.

The crux of the issue was an application for a variance permit to Lot 26 in Viewmont Subdivision, a neighbourhood in Montrose.

Current residents of the area were strongly against the application which requested council permission to place a modular home on the lot.

Mark Thatcher, a resident of Viewmont, spoke at the meeting and said the modular home plan violated the building scheme restrictions placed on the neighbourhood by original developer Dick Dar of Fruitvale.

“When I first moved to the subdivision, I was told this would be a high-end subdivision and that there would be a schedule of restrictions and everyone had to follow them,” he said, adding that a real estate agent had told him a modular home in the neighbourhood would lower his property value.

After doing some digging on his own, Thatcher shared with the crowd of about 20 people that he had discovered the building scheme restrictions had been removed without consultation from four of the empty lots in the subdivision, including Lot 26.

As it turns out, there is a clause in the agreement that gives the original landowner and developer, Dar, the right to remove the restrictions, which he did.

Montrose’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and zoning bylaws also prohibits the placement of modular homes in village limits.

The community plan states that, “To preserve the character and aesthetics of existing residential neighbourhoods, new single-wide manufactured homes generally will not be permitted in Montrose. Council will, however, consider the siting of double-wide modular homes when it can be demonstrated that the appearance and design of the building will be compatible with surrounding convention.”

In another part of the plan, it says that the guidelines were put in place, “to ensure that multiple unit housing is developed in a manner that is compatible with the existing scale and character of the community.”

Peter Bayley, another resident of Viewmont, argued that even though the modular home wasn’t a single-wide structure, it still wouldn’t fit in with the aesthetics of the neighbourhood.

“We went online and took a look at what this building might look like, and in no way, shape, or form does it conform with what is there already,” he said. “If you take a look at my house and take a look up the street, all around, there is no way that it conforms. We are submitting a letter and we strongly oppose this.”

Another part of Dar’s application detailed a request to offset the home by six-and-a-half feet in the lot, something that has previously been denied by council when Bayley’s family went to build their home in Viewmont.

To respond to concerns about the modular home and its appearance, Wayne Postnikoff appeared on behalf of Eagle Home Sales in Castlegar – the company that would be selling the proposed structure.

“I think a lot of people have a misconception as to what modular or manufactured homes are,” he said.

“All of our homes that are modularly built, they have to follow the B.C. building code. We don’t sell trailers. We sell homes that have the same specs as any home built here in the Kootenays. The only difference is that we are bringing them in from a factory already 90 per cent finished. “

Postnikoff’s reassurances didn’t alleviate Viewmont residents’ concerns.

The question was posed to council about whether they should approve the variance.

Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk pointed out that council has allowed modular homes in the village before, but those decisions had received little to no opposition.

Coun. Rory Steep didn’t see an issue with the modular home itself, but didn’t agree with the six-and-a-half foot variance included in the permit application.

Coun. Mary Gay mentioned that she had gone to see the houses and they weren’t as bad as people might think.

“I thought I would go to Castlegar and take a look and see what the homes look like and they are beautiful,” she said. “I want to encourage everyone here to go out and take a look at the houses. What you see in a picture and what you see in real life is different.”

Gay still voted ‘Yes’ when Coun. Cindy Cook put forth a motion to deny the application for a permit variance. The motion passed by a vote of 4-1.

The next Montrose Council meeting is on April 7 at 7 p.m.

 

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read