Upset builds over Coldstream subdivision

Coldstream Creek Road development sought, for the third time

A proposed development in Coldstream is stirring upset in the neighbourhood.

A subdivision has been on the books since last summer at 7608 Coldstream Creek Road. The 1.56-hectare property is zoned RU2 and requires rezoning in order to move forward.

Approximately 30 people packed Coldstream chambers Monday for a public hearing and several letters of upset, including a petition, were submitted.

Among Meadow Road resident Sarah Hanson’s list of concerns is that high density is avoided.

“Just because the R1 zone allows for a maximum of 13 single-family residences, does not mean that it should.”

A Meadow Road Action Group was even formed, urging council consider a bike/pedestrian path only versus a road from the development connecting Meadow Road to Pine Drive. A total of 19 signatures were collected from the neighbourhood petition.

The development is looking at two road access points off Pine Drive and Meadow Road.

“A third access off Coldstream Creek Road will be required to provide through routing for local traffic,” said Bruce Van Calsteren, project manager with Kerr Wood Leidel, in an earlier report to council.

Calsteren says he and the developer, John McKay from the Lower Mainland, are listening to neighbours concerns, but until zoning is approved they cannot get into project details.

Meanwhile, previous requests for zoning that would allow for 14 duplexes were denied by council twice last year.

See related: District of Coldstream will not move forward with Coldstream Creek Road development

“This proposed development has many Coldstream residents feeling anxious and upset, and rightly so,” said Allen Hanson, in an October letter to council.

While some neighbours are upset that the development is again being considered, the district defends that the public process is working.

“The neighbours have expressed their concerns and that’s why there’s been a change in what he (the developer) is requesting now,” said Trevor Seibel, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer. “The process is working because the concerns of the residents are being heard.”

Van Calsteren agrees: “That’s what they (council) are there to do is listen to the residents. Democracy has been achieved.”

But the opportunity to be heard has now closed.

“We cannot receive any more input on it because the public hearing has been closed,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

Coldstream council has asked for a report back from staff on stormwater and traffic, following the concerns raised Monday.

“Meadow Road was developed in the 1970s, the existing infrastructure remains in the ‘70s with no stormwater drainage and on-site septic systems,” state Renee and Rick Clark, Meadow Road residents in their letter. “As you may also know Meadow Road is riddled with groundwater issues many of the residences have sump pumps that run almost annually from January to April and other months if extremely wet.”

Birch Lane residents Ken Garrett and Patricia Sommerville can attest: “The front of our home is always a lake when the snow melts or when it rains.”

They say this was never a problem prior to the Pine Drive subdivision being built, therefore with another new subdivision being looked at they want to make sure there is somewhere for the water to go rather than low lying homes.

Protection of wildlife that has made the existing field home is also a priority for some neighbours.

“With the development, you will be taking away a natural habitat for a family of deer (and other wildlife) that has lived in the field for at least as long as we have lived in this house,” said Christin and Uriah Kane, whose Meadow Road home backs onto the property.

Overall, Garlick says the proposed development is similar to what already exists on Giles Drive.

“It fits with what’s there,” he said, adding that the demand for housing is growing.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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