Chestermere City Council defeated the Second and Third Readings of the Proposed R-1PFD Land Use Redesignation in South Shore bylaw during the Dec. 1 Regular Meeting of Council.
“This application is for the redesignation for a portion of land in the South Shore Chestermere Lake outline plan, which is currently zoned as residential single-detached to the newly approved residential planned lot,” said Planner I Community Growth & Infrastructure, Crystal Jackson.
“The primary purpose of this request is to offer an additional project type to the marketplace in anticipation of the South Shore first phase of development,” she said.
“The proposed bylaw would reduce the amount of typical larger lots, single detached homes, and replace it with single detached development,” she added. “The standards of the district would allow for a slightly narrower lot which ultimately provides a new housing option in the market at a lower price point.”
The redesignation would have added up to 17 new lots to the South Shore.
“I do have a problem with this. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I’m not in favour of making narrower lots, putting houses closer together to create a greater fire hazard that we’re seeing happen all over the place. You get one housefire, you burn two or three down. That’s not being economically responsible to our residents,” Deputy Mayor, Mel Foat said.
Serval studies were completed to ensure the development was appropriate for the subject land, including a dam safety review, railway noise and vibration assessment, transportation impact assessment, wetland mitigation study, and a biophysical impact assessment.
After reviewing the recently completed Social Needs Assessment, city planners determined there was an overall desire and need for housing diversity and housing attainability within the community.
“This redesignation proposal provides additional housing types and unit sizes, increasing the opportunity for a new demographic from different income levels to enter the Chestermere market,” Jackson said.
A Public Hearing for the proposed bylaw was held on Nov. 17, and the city received 13 written submissions representing 58 residents in opposition.
“The main themes that can be pulled away from feedback received are a desire to keep and protect the green space and natural wetland area within the eastern portion of the outline plan, and that development, at any kind of density in the area is not needed, wanted, or safe,” Jackson said.
She added, “The subject lands of this R-1PFD application are located within the western portion of the outline plan, and not specifically linked to the questioned wetland area. However, the wetlands are tied to overall density calculations which was a concern raised by public feedback.”
City Councillor Michelle Young added, “I’m against this. It boils back to, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, although it fits into the rules, just because it’s presented doesn’t mean we have to approve it. It’s our job to do the best for all, and I don’t think this is it.”