Re-zoning bid misses the mark

Editor:

The mayor and council have put forth a re-zoning amendment located at 253 First Ave.

I strongly disagree with the proposed amendment to change the current OCP (Official Community Plan) Zoned R2 low density residential housing, re-zoning request to R6 high density (apartments).

I feel this change has been taken very lightly. We are going into our third reading to amend the current OCP without even having a drawing in place to show what a structure of this size will look like or how it will impact the surrounding properties and landscape. Further to the OCP, a bylaw amendment to exceed the 14 metre height restriction would be required to accommodate the development being proposed.

The OCP is the village’s highest level land use planning document which was updated by the previous council in 2017. The OCP gives greater certainty to land owners and should be taken very seriously. A low density residential neighbourhood and high density housing don’t always fit in the same neighbourhood. When you look at community planning; apartments are always either higher up on the hillside or down low within the city so they don’t obstruct homeowners views.

Currently there are two vacant properties within the village of Burns Lake that are zoned high density (apartment living). My question is why is the village considering the re-zoning when there are more suitable properties sitting vacant, for-sale and that fall 100 per cent within the current OCP?

I believe re-zoning of this caliber shouldn’t be considered until such properties have been utilized.

There is a much greater need for family-oriented duplexes and seniors housing in the form of duplexes with access to the outdoors, which is exactly what this property at 253 First Ave. is zoned for.

I hope that by reading this, the village will reconsider amending the OCP. I hope you can put yourself in my backyard and see the effects this will have on our property values, quality of life and the properties and people around me. The simple things in life are sometimes the most enjoyable. We have worked very hard to create a beautiful outdoor living space with beautiful views of the beautiful area we take pleasure in calling home.

I ask the mayor and council, if this amendment was proposed in your backyard would it be taken more seriously?

Jennifer Varga

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