The City of Armstrong has given third reading to a development on Fraser Road.

The City of Armstrong has given third reading to a development on Fraser Road.

Armstrong application moves ahead

Armstrong council is moving ahead with a contentious rezoning application

Armstrong council is moving ahead with a contentious rezoning application despite considerable opposition.

Close to 20 people filled council chambers for a public hearing on the proposal to rezone 3240 Fraser Road from country residential to single detached residential and multiple unit zones.

The developer, Del Martin of McLeery Ranch, proposes to subdivide the property to allow the construction of two single-family dwellings and five duplexes, totalling 12 dwelling units.

The vast majority of attendees were residents of the subdivision, who are against the plan citing concerns over increased traffic, lack of greenspace for the children, and potential transient-style residents.

“Undoubtedly, there will be an increase in traffic volume, something which the original home purchasers did not expect when choosing to build and/or buy in this lower density area,” said Karl Peck.

Angie and Jason Miller moved from Vancouver to Armstrong to avoid fast-paced urban living. Angie Miller said the appeal of duplex housing for the buyer is to have the potential to have rentals, but that increases the percentage of transient living in a neighbourhood with young children.

“I bought into stability,” said Miller. “The stability of long-term neighbours who are invested in their neighbourhood, my property value and small-town and slow-paced values.”

Carly Payne said she believes the reason for the zoning application is strictly profit.

“I do not believe the developer has the best interest in mind for the families of this already existing neighbourhood,” said Payne, adding “there has already been change to the zoning since we moved into phase one with the allowing of basement suites in phase two.”

Martin, who has been developing properties for 30 years, said he plans to do a nice job in the area, and encouraged residents to look at the Royal York Estates development to see what they can expect is his plan is approved.

“What we’d like to do is present a good product for the public at a reasonable price,” said Martin. “That concept is something we’re going to see in the future. It’s not going to deteriorate the value of your property. It just might go the other way because it will be an attractive look.”

Sig Koeck, of Salmon Arm, who owns property in the proposed rezoning area, reminded residents that cities are designed to grow.

“People moving into the area shouldn’t take the stand they hope the neighbourhood stays the way it was when they moved in,” said Koeck.

“They must realize things will grow. I appreciate all of the concerns I have heard here, I really do, but it’s not always going to stay the way it was when you bought it. No place really does.”

Council voted 5-1 in favour of giving the application third reading, with only Paul Britton opposed.

“The way the developer has proposed having the subdivision set up without any higher density, without any extra families, it’s allowing for more greenspace,” said Coun. Shirley Fowler after hearing how children in the subdivision play on the street or in a vacant field.

Britton said he was torn on his decision after hearing the “excellent comments made by the residents.”

“There is definitely a traffic problem,” he said. “But we can’t shut the road off because it’s a safety issue.

“The density is not going to change. Nice homes are going to be built. The lack of a playground there is terrible. We must have made a mistake somewhere.”

Mayor Chris Pieper said the key for the city moving forward will be the development permit prepared for the appplication.

“The developer has made commitments to the size and style of homes and how they will be built,” he said. “If we write that into the permit, it has to be followed or it comes back here for another public hearing.”

Council will look at issues such as greenspace and traffic calming measures for the subdivision.