I read with interest Jennifer Smith’s report of council’s approval of a variance permit and subdivision of land for property on Pine Drive in Coldstream.
According to this reporter, residents object to the permit based on their perception of negative impacts to the neighbourhood.
A couple of things jump out at me. The first being the perceived impacts.
This sounds a lot like someone taking sides. Most impacts prior to impact are perceived because they haven’t happened.
Perhaps these residents know something about the impacts of large, non-conforming buildings in their current neighbourhood or elsewhere.
In fact, I’d like to take this moment to remind Coldstream council and the neighbours of Pine Drive of my experience in requesting a building permit (with no variance or special considerations) to add a garage addition to my old home on about five acres on Kidston Road a number of years back.
I loved that house and I loved thinking about the people that built that house in the old days.
There were lots of fruit trees and space for my dogs and a gorgeous view, and with lots of help, I planted a lovely collection of trees and flowers.
And, there was lots of space for people to walk by on a path behind the house to take full advantage of the same gorgeous view.
Coldstream council perceived the negative impacts of me building that garage to replace the one lost when Kidston Road went through to the park, and denied my building permit.
One of the reasons given was that council did not want megahouses in Coldstream.
Not to split hairs, but the house and garage would have ended up being the same size as most normal, older homes in the valley. It only had one bathroom and two bedrooms so it was small to begin with and the garage would have been a normal standard size.
In the end, I don’t own that house anymore and when I drive the road and see that it has been torn down and that a new, bigger and better home now sits up the hill from where my old house was, I am reminded of the hurtful treatment I received over a simple building permit.
I want to remind the neighbours on Pine Drive, that there has been a paradigm shift in how bigger and better homes are viewed and that anyone can end up on the wrong side of new direction and inconsistency of values in Coldstream.