Confusion with spot zoning
Thursday, Dec 08, 2016 06:00 am
We’re a little confused here. Perhaps some of you are as well.
Being that affordable housing comes up in virtually any conversation one engages in these days, and being that the subject of affordable housing now goes back decades, and being that the subject of affordable housing won’t go away any time soon, it seems a little odd that Canmore council quickly dismissed a Nordic Homes project that focused on building smaller single family homes.
The reason? Spot zoning isn’t in the interest of the community. Spot zoning, in this circumstance, translates into the fact that a direct control district was being proposed.
But two direct control districts (spot zoning) to create new housing developments were proposed at council in regard to a Town project on the Moustache Lands (page 34) and raised as well in regard to a project for the Town-owned old daycare lands (or Larch Park, whichever you prefer). To state direct control zoning for a single lot on 16th Street is somehow unsuitable seems a little shortsighted when council turns around and is ready to hear from the public on two different direct control districts being proposed.
We’d like to hear more about the Nordic Homes project, as in the past in this space we’ve suggested that what this valley needs is a market-priced housing project that would offer owners a reasonably priced, reasonably sized home with a reasonable level of amenities, sans garage, that could actually be considered affordable – and one that wouldn’t saddle proud owners with steep ridiculous condo fees that are such a fixture in the community.
We feel many possible first time homeowners would jump at the chance to buy a modest home, not a condo, and be responsible for shoveling their own snow and maintenance of a small yard.
At quick glance, building four small homes on a single family corner lot, sounds like a good idea. Maybe it deserves more than a quick glance though, and deserves a chance for the neighbourhood to weigh in, and the proponent to address concerns to council. At the very least, it wouldn’t have hurt to gather public input. Public input, it seems, is gathered on everything else, so why not on a modest home project?
Maybe, being that Moustache and daycare lands are Town-owned, there is a different standard for making it to public hearing in front of this council? We certainly hope that isn’t the case, even if it appears to be because even in its recently adopted Municipal Development Plan it clearly states one set of rules for everyone – public and private.
Here’s an item that’s not confusing …
The Outlook would like to offer kudos to Rose Reid of the Bighorn Library.
Rose is clearly someone who realizes that there is a point where bureaucracy is just that, bureaucracy, and that it can be instituted without any glimmer of the reality of day-to-day living.
While we won’t condone breaking the rules of our society, we will condone Rose for having the sense to ignore provincial guidelines in respect to charging First Nations citizens ridiculous fees for library usage.
Rather, Rose decided to apply the same fee program as for others in the MD of Bighorn – free library usage.
Read on, Stoney Nakoda/Exshaw students, read on.