Council approved a re-zoning of a Southside property, but not before hearing concerned neighbours.
Rose Robinson, who owns the house on 317 Taylor, applied to divide her lot in two, but because of the way her house is situated on the property, one lot would need to be 13-metres wide, narrower than usual 15-metre lot.
That prompted concerns from Jesse Cole and Michelle Vizier, who feared that the smaller lot size would prompt any new owner to build upwards, thereby blocking their sun and view. The maximum allowable height in that area is 10 metres.
“You have a narrow lot, you’re forcing someone to build a tall house, it’s going to be outside the normal characteristics of the houses in that area of town,” Cole told council during a public hearing. “You’re going to shade us in a way we don’t really want and take away our views.”
While Cole’s arguments could be dismissed as NIMBYism, it was noted that almost all the homes on that part of Taylor Street are single-storey.
Councillor Trevor English asked about restricting the height of homes in that neighbourhood.
Dean Strachan, the city’s manager of development services, said that council could put a covenant on the property, but he said a better solution would be to create a new zone for the area that would reduce the maximum allowable height of homes. “You would actually change the zoning for an area in order to reflect what the neighbourhood wishes to see in the future,” he said.
When it came down to it, council approved the sub-division. When Mayor Mark McKee asked if anyone wanted to address the height issue, council was silent.