The City of Vernon will not amend its policies to allow for a hillside residential development.
Council has supported a staff recommendation to deny an application for a new development zone and 28 apartments at 8700 Tronson Road because the land is too steep.
“The public was really concerned about development on hillsides and the visual and environmental impacts,” said Coun. Buffy Baumbrough, referring to the process that led to the official community plan.
“It (OCP) was developed with thought and care and it reflects what the community says it values.”
Staff’s concern revolved around the property having slopes steeper than a 30 per cent grade.
“Thirty per cent is a pretty standard rule in the industry,” said planner Dale Rintoul.
“When you get beyond that, there’s a lot of cutting and filling (of land).”
The only opposition to denying the application came from Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe.
“This is below the current road and wouldn’t be in anyone’s viewscape,” she said.
“Building something below the road level is not the same at Turtle Mountain or the Rise.”
However, that brought a rebuttal from Baumbrough.
“You run the risk of a visual impact from the lake and you can’t under-estimate that,” she said.
“You either believe in your policy or not.”
Because of provincial setbacks from the lake, O’Keefe insists environmental issues would be addressed if the proposed development were to proceed.
“The development will be rigidly controlled by three levels of government. We should see the plan and then move forward,” said O’Keefe.
The property is currently zoned lakeshore residential which allows duplex housing or semi-detached housing on a lot with a minimum lot area of 1,120 square metres or a single-family dwelling on a lot with an area not less than 560 square metres (provided in both cases that each lot is connected to a community sewer system. If it is not, then the minimum lot area goes up to 10,000 square metres per lot).