- Our Town
Hawkview residents say no to rezoning
More than two dozen Hawkview Estates residents crowded into Town Council chambers on April 11 to voice their displeasure about a proposal that would increase density to the area.
A public hearing was scheduled prior to the regular Council meeting and residents were firm but polite in expressing their opposition to a proposal by developers to rezone six lots in Phase 2 from R-1 to R-3. The developers, represented by Norm Mailhot at the meeting, want to create small, clustered housing units above the currently developed lots.
Prior to asking for input from the gallery, Coun. Jim Elford, who conducted the public hearing, asked Ross Beddoes, director of municipal services, to summarize letters already submitted to the Town on the subject.
Beddoes said one package containing seven letters from residents objected to the rezoning, claiming their properties would be affected by having smaller, lower valued homes in a neighborhood some used the words “exclusivity” and “prestige” to describe. Their concerns included increased traffic, increased on-street parking, additional pets and more noise.
Other objections from written submissions included potential increase in crime, a likelihood of the project to fail because of the pricing, a history of previous “architectural controls” not being adhered to, lack of suitable exits from the development and concerns that the high standards for home design and construction would not be enforced on the new development.
Beddoes explained that standards would become restrictive covenants on the land titles, allowing the Town to enforce them. Standards on the existing homes were not registered against the land titles, he said.
Only one resident from the area attended an informational meeting to discuss the rezoning proposal with four developers and Town staff, he said.
Mailhot said that the rezoning proposal “fits within the (new) Official Community Plan” and includes additional greenspace, and that there is a demand for smaller high quality homes while demand for larger homes on large lots is diminishing. He argued that there is sufficient space for off-street parking in the new plan.
A half dozen residents then stated their opposition, raising concerns including:
• 21 units would exceed the capacity of the street
• Hawkview was intended to be a model community with large homes and lots
• Children would play on the road
• A change in zoning was not foreseen when current residents bought their properties
• There are more suitable areas elsewhere for higher density development
• A relocation to higher up the hill would be more palatable, if it had a separate entrance
Coun. Kevin Boehmer asked Beddoes for further clarification about the enforcement of covenants on properties. Beddoes said one type of covenant is placed by the developer and is not the responsibility of the Town; in the second type, which includes the Hawkview proposal, covenants are placed on the title and are enforced by the Town.
At the suggestion of Mayor Ron Toyota, Boehmer made a motion to recess the hearing until April 25 so that Council could get more information from staff. Elford declared the hearing recessed after the motion passed.