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Going ahead

A proposed four-plex is cause for concern to some neighbours on the city's north side.
Don Manahan (Jamie Smith,

A proposed four-plex is cause for concern to some neighbours on the city's north side.

The irregularly shaped lot on the corner of Valley Street and Hutton Park Drive was originally zoned multi-residential until 2009 when the owner asked for it to be zoned for a single home. But after several years without selling, they asked the city to rezone the lot in order to build a four-plex complete with seven parking spaces.

Don Manahan, who represents the developer, said that the building would have a lot of landscaping and the materials used would fit in with the neighbourhood.

But neighbours disagreed.

J.P. Prinsloo said he wouldn't have bought his home if he had known that a rental property would go next door, leaving him without the ability to know his neighbours. He called it a safety concern.

"Renters aren't safe?" Coun. Andrew Foulds asked.

"Well they come and go," Prinsloo said.

Another neighbour, Caroline LaBelle, said she moved to the neighbourhood to get away from living near rental properties. From increased traffic to substance abuse, she said the apartment building would be an eyesore to the area. Currently it has a "better class of neighbours," which is why she moved there in 2011.

Coun. Trevor Giertuga, the only councillor to oppose the project going forward, said since the lot was rezoned for a single home in 2009, it's reasonable that people who bought land in the area assumed that's what the lot would eventually be.

"Their expectation was that it was going to be nine single family homes there," he said.

City development manager Mark Smith said it's a mistake for people to assume what any property near them, especially a vacant lot, will be.

"At anytime anybody can propose to change the zoning bylaw," Smith said.


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