Coldstream still taking flack for building bylaw

Amendments to Coldstream subdivision and development serving bylaw fail to impress residents

Despite being scaled back, controversy continues to swarm a bylaw affecting Coldstream homeowners wanting to renovate.

District politicians adopted changes to the subdivision and development servicing bylaw Monday night.

The new bylaw restricts the potential for Coldstream to require off-site works on homes seeking a building permit – something the district was previously blasted for.

“Council listened and council did agree with (resident concerns),” said Maria Besso, acting mayor. “So we have been working on it…to come up with something that is more fair. This is an improvement on the (previous) bylaw.”

The new bylaw identifies a list of 15 roads where homes in those areas could be on the hook for up to $2,500 in drainage improvements. Projects valued at less than $50,000 are exempt and the project would have to have an impact on the need for drainage improvements.

While it is seen as an improvement, some residents still maintain that is not fair practice.

“You have no authority to inflict tax on any resident simply because they apply for a building permit,” said Kidston Road resident David Paterson, calling the bylaw unlawful.

Local resident and owner of Keith Construction, Ken Dahlen, agrees and asks: “What’s next?”

Such decisions are frustrating homeowners and contractors, said Dahlen who claims to have lost $1 million in contracts in the past year at permit issuance, not just in Coldstream, but Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

He suggests that instead of putting drainage issues on the backs of 15 roads, council needs to budget for the infrastructure improvements.

Using the last year’s building permit figures, Paterson points out that to continue in the direction council has taken it could take 80 years to fix the community’s drainage problems.

The roads and necessary upgrades identified in Coldstream’s new bylaw are:

Buchanan Road – ditch realignment/culverting

Cottonwood Lane – infiltration chambers

Fairmont Place – ditching north side/infiltration chambers

Howe Drive (north of Kalamalka Road) – ditching/infiltration chambers

Kalavista Drive – infiltration chambers

Ponderosa Way – ditching/infiltration chambers

Rendell Drive – infiltration chambers

Rockland Drive – ditching on north side/catch basin at curb/infiltration chambers

Scenic Drive – catch basins/infiltration chambers on north side

Springfield Road (9900 block) – infiltration chambers

Tebo Drive – infiltration chambers

Torrent Drive – infiltration chambers

Upland Drive – culverting/storm sewer

Westkal Road – infiltration chambers/drainage easements

Kidston Road – ditching/culverting

Notices will be going out to the affected homeowners to alert them of the changes.

District staff is also bringing back a policy to clearly lay out the applications of the bylaw.