Proposal a concern

Commonage development cause for concern

A precedent-setting bylaw variance application is currently before Vernon council, which it is to vote on at its July 25 meeting.

I believe this item has very serious consequences for the integrity of current zoning bylaws. The case in point is an application for a variance in lot size by the owner of a large property on the Commonage who wishes to create a subdivision. The area is currently designated as non-urban which requires lot sizes be not less than 18 acres nor greater than 1.5 times this or 27 acres.

As well, the bylaw does allow for an averaging provision, the intent of which is to allow for minor variations of lot size. However, the applicant has used this averaging provision to propose a subdivision that has a huge range of lot sizes with 13 of the 28 lots being seven acres or less in size instead of 18 acres and one huge lot of 200 acres.  As we learned in school, the average that you want can be attained by having many small lots and one very large lot. Hence, the application is an extreme use of the averaging provision of the bylaw. You can see that it makes a mockery of the zoning size restrictions and they become meaningless.

If the city wants to change the zoning of this area from non-urban to say urban, do it by legitimate open democratic methods that are readily available. Do not allow it to be done by this back door loophole in the current zoning bylaw which was never intended to be used in this extreme way.

I urge city council to recognize the very serious, far-reaching zoning implications if they approve this application in its present form.

R. Hebbert, Vernon