A developer’s plan to alleviate Vernon’s housing shortage is being met with neighbouring concerns in the Foothills.
A 12-lot Reservoir Road subdivision is proposed off Foothills Drive. Foothills Developments was originally looking at 19 lots, but has since scaled the project back.
Foothills resident Sydney Sengotta has many concerns regarding the development, including wildlife, greenspace and density.
“As a resident of this community, I am concerned at the rate in which development is occurring and have concerns over this variance permit application.”
Sengotta’s concerns were echoed by seven other neighbours, who also wrote to council with additional comments around drainage and slope.
Much of the site has slopes exceeding 30 per cent.
“Given the prominent location of the subject property, development of the proposed lots and subsequent construction of dwellings will result in a highly visible development,” planning manager Craig Broderick said in his report. “An alternative land use to minimize the anticipated visual impact of the development would be a cluster of townhouses.”
The subdivision proposal is still under consideration. Foothills Development, which has been building homes in the area for 25 years, is striving to fulfill the demand for housing.
“This proposed subdivision will not only help alleviate the current housing shortage in Vernon but will continue to maintain the high standard of development we have always done,” the developer said in a letter to council. The developer also pointed out that it has given Vernon approximately 50 acres of parks and open space on top of community parks and playgrounds. “This amounts to 42 per cent of the original property purchased by Foothills Developments and largely exceeds the five per cent parks dedication required by the city.”
Nearby landowners Karl and Mike Ernst were surprised to learn of the subdivision as it is within the catchment area that drains onto the Ernst farm. The Ernst family signed a settlement agreement in December 2020 not to sue Foothills Development over storm water routed toward the existing Blackcomb Way subdivision.