Storm brewing over housing development in Terrace

Notified neighbours take issue when alerted about proposal for triplex

A Terrace land-owner’s bid to build an eco friendly development on Sparks St. has been met with opposition by neighbours who fear he will in actual fact wreck a fragile green space and bring unsavoury characters into the area.

Stan Kincaid presented to council May 13 on the zoning amendment application that would have his 4407 Sparks land rezoned from R1 (one family residential) to R3 (low density multi-family residential).

Kincaid’s plan is to develop three triplexes with a gate around them powered by geothermal heating and cooling instead of gas or oil.

The lot has a creek running though what is currently a densely treed property.

While the application passed first and second readings on April 22, council has since received two letters from owners of adjacent properties expressing concerns about the environmental and social impact Kincaid’s development would have.

Four neighbours spoke up at the council meeting on May 13 to express their views, and twelve people were in attendance to see the results.

The neighbours cited concerns over flooding of the creek from the removal of the trees, destruction of a wildlife corridor that is officially labeled sensitive according to a municipal assessment as well as the perceived impact of having up to nine families in a secluded neck of the woods.

“Over time we’re going to attract the wrong crowd up there,” said one speaker.

Councillor James Cordeiro said in response that he found the assumption that smaller housing units would attract a seedy element to be offensive.

“I don’t want anyone to get hurt on my property,” said another adjacent owner, worrying about the impact new families would have on an area that’s “like living in the bush but you’re in town.”

“Where is the space going to come from,” said a third to council, arguing that the creek is wide and that he can’t see three large units fitting.

In the end it came down to Kincaid’s building design with councillors wanting more information.

Council moved and rested a motion to postpone the adoption of the bylaw amendment until July 22 to give Kincaid the chance to draft a building design and have his geothermal idea reviewed so that neighbours and council can better understand his plan and make an informed decision about whether to adopt the bylaw amendment.