Development green lit

A new development in Trout Creek was given the green light by Summerland District Council by a narrow margin Monday evening.

A 4-3 vote meant the controversial rezoning of 5418 Nixon Road passed, changing the 1.4-hectare plot from A1 agricultural land to a RSD1 medium residential lot. The moves paves the way for a 21-lot development.

Some concerned residents had indicated, at previous meetings about the development and through correspondence sent to council, that they felt the minimum size of a residence allowable on RSD1 land, 460 sq. m., was too small to fit with the neighbourhood. They pushed for RSD2 zoning, which would have bumped the minimum size to 650 sq. m.

However, the developers' plans indicate that their smallest dwelling will be 508 sq. m., and Councillor Doug Holmes, who voted to pass the proposal, said he chose to believe the developer won't change the plans now that the rezoning has been approved.

"You just have to trust the developer sometimes, that they're going to do what they say they will," Holmes said.

Holmes originally voted against the rezoning in an earlier council session, but said that amendments to the size of dwellings proposed as well as newly added landscaping conditions changed his mind. 

"People don't want it to be like a moonscape with no vegetation or trees," Holmes said. "So we added a covenant that ensures every house has to plant a tree in its front yard once the house is built."

Mayor Peter Waterman also voted in favour of the rezoning, while councillors Richard Barkwill, Toni Boot and Erin Trainer voting against.

Holmes pointed to revitalization of the neighbourhood as a key reason why the development deserved to go ahead.

"It might not be perfect, but when we're thinking 'We've got to keep that school open,' it's good enough," Holmes said.

The issue is now out of council's hands, and the next step is for the developers to submit applications to city staff for building permits.


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