A development proposal under consideration by the District of Coldstream is dead in the water after a group of residents vehemently opposed the idea at a council meeting Monday evening.
The proposed development involved the construction of a subdivision containing 14 duplexes, for a total of 28 units, on a rural property located at 7608 Coldstream Creek Road, between Pine Drive and Meadow Road. Currently the property has a single family dwelling towards Coldstream Creek Road, with an open field in the rear.
Council was requested to give first reading of a bylaw to rezone the property for the construction of semi-detached dwellings (two side by side units).
In their application for their development and rezoning permit, the consulting engineering firm Kerr Wood Leidal, stated that the rezoning is consistent with the Regional Growth Strategy and OCP, as it would provide: infill development close to the Coldstream Town Centre; opportunity for residents to use active transportation methods; increased housing density and housing variety for different socioeconomic groups.
The firm further stated that the application meets the current strategic growth plan for densifying urban residential development near the Coldstream Town Center, while providing affordable diversified housing and active transportation opportunities.
In his address to council members and staff, Coldstream resident Matthew Peters, who lives on a lot near the subject property, opposed the notion, adding that he did not feel this development was something the people of Coldstream wanted.
“I wouldn’t presume to tell a developer or council how to develop a property,” he told the crowd. “But in respect to the current neighbourhood, there are plenty of options already in terms of property that meet the criteria in the OCP, and this proposal does not adhere to any of them.”
Peters continued, expressing his concern for the aesthetic of the proposed structures in question, as well as road safety in the area.
“The duplexes that have been built (in the past) are upscale, and are in new neighbourhoods, rather than older, existing neighbourhoods — so this is a very different plan than what’s been implemented by the district before. The key roadway design, I have concerns about as well, it’s being proposed for an area that has a blind hill.”
Another Coldstream resident, Uriah Kane, also lives on a nearby property with his wife and three young daughters. He echoed Peters, adding that he too, was “shocked” at the high density proposal.
“I saw that as directly affecting my family,” Kane said. “We don’t have street lights, we don’t have sidewalks on Meadow Road, but assuming this development goes through in its current state, that t-intersection format would directly impact the amount of traffic coming and going in front of our house.”
Ideally, given a choice, he’d love to see that property developed as a cu-de-sac.
“I’m just really concerned about the traffic punching through that t-section,” he reiterated.
Two more residents spoke briefly after Kane, prompting Mayor Jim Garlick to gently remind the audience that if council were to move forward with the proposal, a public hearing, which was not on Monday evenings schedule, would occur and give residents the opportunity to come forward with their concerns.
Kane and Matthews were scheduled as delegations, meaning they had submitted prior requests to speak at the meeting. In acknowledgement of their constituents, council members expressed their own concerns regarding the rezoning proposal, and opted not to move forward with it.
Mike Reiley, who received much of the correspondence with the developer and engineers, declined to comment on the outcome, as did Mark Forsyth, branch manager with Kerr Wood Leidal’s Okanagan office, who has been working with the applicant, John McKay.