Council denies density increase for three lots

  • Feb. 1, 2011 12:00 p.m.

By TREENA MIELKE

Three lots in Rimbey up for rezoning to make way for an eight-plex will remain low density family residential following a decision by council at its meeting Jan. 26.

Council gave thumbs up to a rezoning bylaw for lots at 5414-51 Street to be rezoned to high density residential, but amended the bylaw so lots at 5611- 51 Street would be excluded from the rezoning.

After the meeting, developer Steffen Olsen, who wanted to build an eight-plex on the lots said he is disappointed with council’s decision.

“I was planning to build an eightplex consisting of 1,000-square-foot condos for young people. There is nothing in town for young families (to purchase) at a price they can afford. The condos would not have to be that big, but it would give them a foot in the door.”

However, after the meeting Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson said council needs to listen to all parties involved and there was opposition to the rezoning at a public hearing held earlier this month.

“This process is here for a reason. The hearing process is to allow different views to be heard.”

Changing zoning from low density family residential to high density residential is a big step, he said.

“It’s a big jump and if the neighbours aren’t on board……”

Looking at the big picture is important, he added.

“We have to look out for the benefit of the whole town and increasing the tax base is not the only consideration.”

A written submission at the public hearing by Henry and Shirley Pobuda and Lorna Hushagen, who live on 57 Avenue stated opposition to the rezoning.

“We would ask the town to consider the people on 57th Ave. before passing this amendment,” the Pobuda’s and Hushagen stated in their submission.

“Why would town council add to the noise, traffic, parking and safety problems by changing this property to high density? We have enough multi-family structures in our neighbourhood. Please do not add more.”

However, former councillor Rhonda Tarney, who attended the Jan. 26 meeting, believes there is a need in Rimbey for a condominium such as the one Olsen is proposing.

“In my opinion I think it would be a good move,” she said.

Tarny believes the location Olsen had proposed to be a good one, noting that the present zoning already allows for duplexes.

“As it is currently zoned you could have three duplexes there with six families and no requirements as to how many cars.”

Olsen plans to build a one-level seniors’ complex at 5414 – 51 Street. He believes the location to be suitable as there is already a seniors’ complex in the area.

He is hoping to begin work on this spring.