One councillor is pushing for more discussion on backyard building, also known as infill development.
Coun. Yvonne Hamlin raised the issue at council on Monday night (Jan. 28) referencing a deputation made by local resident and Realtor Marg Scheben-Edey.
“How can we address -- I’m going to call them ‘monster homes’ -- that we see coming up in our community that don’t have regard for the neighbouring properties?” asked Hamlin.
Scheben-Edey lives on Smart Court, where the backyard abutting hers became a construction site and a 3,600 square-foot home was built. The property already had one 1,900 square foot home on it.
Scheben-Edey said the plans for the new build indicated an accessory apartment, so she was surprised to arrive home from a vacation to find the frame of a large house abutting her backyard.
“The main thing for us, now that our awareness of the weaknesses in the zoning bylaw has increased, is to advocate for changes to the bylaw that do honour the Official Plan of the municipality and that work to make infill development more compatible with the beautiful community we live in,” she said.
Hamlin asked about a staff report on the issue and the town’s director of planning Nancy Farrer said there would be one in the summer.
Hamlin told council on Monday night she would like to see public input before the staff report is compiled.
“I think all of us have heard and can see in our community different infill projects that have infringed on their neighbouring properties,” said Hamlin. “Would it be possible for us to schedule a public meeting to hear from residents as to the issues they see?”
Mayor Brian Saunderson said he foresees those issues will come up as part of the Official Plan review.
Saunderson indicated staff would take Hamlin’s comments under advisement and plan a sit-down for the future.
For our full story on Scheben-Edey’s deputation, click here.
-With files from Jessica Owen