Lane ways prove to be hurdle for development proposal

Proposal doesn't fit in with overall Brookswood/Fernridge design, say councillors

Coun. Blair Whitmarsh

Coun. Blair Whitmarsh

A residential proposal for 76 new homes along 32 Avenue in Brookswood/Fernridge has been rejected by Township council.

The development failed to pass first and second reading on June 13 by a 5-4 vote, with councillors Charlie Fox, Bob Long, Angie Quaale and Mayor Jack Froese in favour.

The proposal was submitted by McElhanney Consulting Services on behalf of Nirmal and Kamaljit Kooner, and called for just over 16 acres of land to be divided into 7,000 square-foot lots at 19685, 19721, 19769, 19779 and 19803 32 Ave.

The reason for the lack of support was the subdivision’s design, which included lane ways — a feature several councillors said they could not approve.

“I think that there could be a better design, I’m not a planner or an engineer, but it seems to me that there would be a way to design this so we do not have a (six) metre lane through this neighbourhood,” said Coun. Blair Whitmarsh.

“(It) doesn’t really fit in, in my opinion, with the rest of the Brookswood area.

“I’m wondering if there is a better option that we haven’t see yet here for this area.”

Coun. Angie Quaale suggested adding a covenant to the development, to prohibit houses fronting 32 Avenue and 32A Avenue from having secondary suites, however that motion was defeated.

“My rationale for this amendment is because 32 Avenue is an arterial road, houses that front 32 (Avenue) can’t have a driveway on 32 (Avenue).

So they have to have their driveway and car park at the back of the house, which sort of makes the requirement for that lane way.

“So the rationale is, if there’s no secondary suites in those 22 houses in that block, then the car problems would hopefully be mitigated in that block.”

Coun. Kim Richter agreed with Whitmarsh’s sentiments, adding her concern for the number of trees that would be lost in the building process.

“Vancouver might have lanes, but Brookswood doesn’t, and I don’t see lanes as fitting in nicely with the existing Brookswood neighbourhoods that are down there,” Richter said.

“The other thing that quite concerns me about this development is there are 1,364 significant trees on this property, and 1,335 of them are going to be removed. And that really bothers me, because we know in Brookswood that (37.5 per cent) of the coniferous forest that still exists in this community is located in Brookswood.

“We’ve built around trees in other parts of the community, the Tall Timbers being a very good example.

“I really think we should be trying to build around more of the trees in Brookswood, because those trees are what gives Brookswood so much of its personality.”

There are currently four other proposals submitted to the Township by McElhanney Consulting Services that would add 123 new homes to the Brookswood/Fernridge area. Another proposal from Hub Engineering would add 46 homes.

All six of the proposals, including the one rejected on Monday evening, were submitted to the Township on July 30, 2015.