Eight residents appeared before council with a petition signed by 153 people indicating that four large lots on Chardonnay Ave (zoned RH1 – Multi-Family) seem to be a threat to their way of life in the neighbourhood.
The zoning has been in place since 1994 when the whole area came out of the ALR for development and the Land Commission asked for some higher densities in the area. The four lots are sizeable and have not sold in 24 years while most of the Single Family lots have sold and been developed. The fear is that a three story type development could be built which could bring renters to the area.
Town staff have yet to reply to the petition but will in the weeks ahead explaining the history of the area. Residents says they were told that duplexes might be built but did not indicate who told them that.
Council pointed out that the upgraded Official Community Plan calls for a lowering of the density but based on past practice wait for an owner to ask for that – rather than making any hostile rezoning. The area is also covered as a Development Permit Area which allows council to be restrictive on form and character, amenities on the lots – like buffering, parking, building exterior material and colours, articulation etc.
Even though a bylaw is in place allowing for a tax exemption in certain zones of the Town to act as an incentive for development – Council had to vote the individual exemption for 10 years for the new Coast Hotel.
The tax exemption is for municipal purposes only and does not exempt the owner from water and sewer fees, school taxes, RDOS services and a number of other fees like police and library services.
The exemption is for improvements – 9 million dollars in construction but owners still pay municipal taxes on the land.
Oliver Town Council has decided to opt out of a process where it can/might/should comment on one particular liquor license application. The application in question – the Frank Venables Theatre complex at 6100 Gala Street.
If council were to state emphatically they are in favour – it triggers one kind of process at the Liquor Control Board. Mayor Ron Hovanes says in several years of operating with one occasion only licenses there has never been a problem or complaint from police or the neighbourhood.
Therefore the Town has no objection but cannot state that clearly on an official document without triggering more paperwork, public hearings and signage.