2nd home re­jected

The Daily Courier - - CITY - By RON SEY­MOUR

A prop­erty at the base of Knox Moun­tain is too steep to be built on, city coun­cil has de­cided.

Coun­cil on Mon­day re­fused the owner’s re­quest to re­zone the prop­erty at 405 Po­plar Point Drive so a sec­ond home, of 5,000 square feet on three lev­els, could be built. The lot has an av­er­age slope of 40 per cent, with some grades ex­ceed­ing 80 per cent.

The city does not gen­er­ally al­low de­vel­op­ment on slopes of more than 30 per cent, although there are ex­cep­tions.

Other con­cerns with this pro­posed de­vel­op­ment site in­cluded the sta­bil­ity of the prop­erty, the visual im­pact, stormwa­ter runoff and the need to re­move trees to ac­com­mo­date the pro­posed sec­ond house.

“I do think staff are giv­ing us ap­pro­pri­ate cau­tions,” Coun. Luke Stack said. “I don’t think it’s im­pos­si­ble for houses to be built on steep slopes, (but) the risks are high and they are counter to our city pol­icy.”

“I don’t think this is an ap­pro­pri­ate place to build a home,” agreed Mayor Colin Bas­ran.

Although the ad­dress of the lot is Po­plar Point, the sec­ond home would have been ac­cessed off Her­bert Heights Road, where there are al­ready 16 homes, many built years ago on sim­i­larly steep slopes.

Jor­dan Het­tinga, rep­re­sent­ing the landowner, Fred­er­ick Hamel, told coun­cil he be­lieved ad­di­tional geotech­ni­cal site test­ing would prove the prop­erty could have been safely built on.

In other com­mu­ni­ties, slopes of 50 per cent are com­monly built on with mod­ern con­struc­tion tech­niques, Het­tinga said.

“We’re happy to show the site is ca­pa­ble of tak­ing the house with­out any ad­di­tional risk,” he said.

Some coun­cil­lors did sup­port ad­vanc­ing the home project through the ap­proval process.

“The fact is, we are build­ing on slopes greater than 30 per cent in other ar­eas of the com­mu­nity,” Coun. Gail Given said. “if it’s risky here, it’s risky there.”

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