Armstrong development may face smaller lots

Lot sizes for a proposed contentious Armstrong development could be dwindling.

Lot sizes for a proposed contentious Armstrong development could be dwindling.

Council gave approval to three development variance permit applications from Emil Anderson Construction in connection with property at 2055 Highway 97A.

The Kelowna-based company proposes to develop 63 single-family residential lots on the property and one commercial lot.

“The lots are smaller, yes,” answered Mayor Chris Pieper to a question from resident Terry Fletcher, the only member of the public to attend the public hearing on the applications.

Fletcher asked if the plans fit the rest of the area, especially around the Royal York Golf Course.

“They will be a bit smaller than that,” said Pieper.

The variances call for reducing the exterior side yard setback for single-family dwellings from four metres to three metres.

Front yard setbacks for single-family dwellings and garages will be reduced, respectively, from five and six metres to 3.5 metres, subject to a distance of 6.5 metres between the back of the curb or sidewalk, whichever is closest to a dwelling or garage.

And the local road right-of-way will drop from 18 metres to 16 metres.

“This is the third time this application has been before council,” said Pieper. “It was originally apartment buildings, then changed to duplex-style buildings, and now they’re all single-family, single units on one lot.”

Opposition came in the form of a letter from Hunter Avenue residents Robert Thibeau and Nancy Claussen.

“It appears as though you want to greatly reduce the size of the residential lots, which would be totally out of character with the large lots already typical of our neighbourhood,” wrote Thibeau. “The resulting hodgepodge would most definitely reduce existing property values, and would destroy the unique character of our neighbourhood.”

One variance application denied by council in the proposal was reducing sidewalk widths from 1.85 metres to 1.5 metres.

Councillors Ryan Nitchie and Paul Britton pointed to the age-friendly communities report that called for larger sidewalks as the rationale for denying the request.

“Walking is a very popular activity in that area,” said Nitchie. “Wider sidewalks would be perfect. New uses would include motorized scooters for the elderly and children would be riding bikes on the sidewalks.”

“We just talked about increasing the widths of sidewalks for the aging popular and the motorized scooters,” added Britton. “I wouldn’t want to see it go the other way.”