Potential view blockage concerns residents

Demands are being made to block builders from taking extreme heights to gain a lake view in Coldstream.

Demands are being made to block builders from taking extreme heights to gain a lake view in Coldstream.

Residents Robert and Karen Strothers Dawson are urging the district to examine its building bylaw, which currently permits a maximum building height of two storeys (measured from the tallest elevation).

With that in place, the couple is fearful their view could be replaced by the backside of a house (especially since the house that could impact their view is for sale).

“We were not aware of this possibility when we purchased our property about a year ago,” said the Sunflower Place residents, adding that property values will also be impacted if their view is lost or obstructed.

This isn’t the first time the issue has surfaced.

In fact, the previous owners of the exact same home returned from a holiday in 2008 to discover a framed structure in line with their view of Kalamalka Lake. The owners were upset and alerted the council-of-the-day to the situation in hopes of preventing such incidents for other Coldstream homeowners.

“The potential for situations such as ours exist in several areas in Coldstream,” the former homeowners, Bob and Donna Schultz wrote in a letter to Coldstream.

The situation has struck several politicians as highly unfair.

“We have to do something to fix this,” said Coun. Bill Firman, adding that while he could care less for one, views mean a lot to some homeowners.

Coun. Gyula Kiss agrees.

“I think this is a very important issue here. We have to seriously make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

But staff admits, it could be a tough subject to tackle.

“It’s a complex issue. People buy houses with expansion issues in mind,” said Craig Broderick, director of development services.

The Strothers Dawsons have suggested that any home on less than five acres must gain a variance in order to increase the height more than 0.2 metres.