Cordova Bay Ridge residents shun development of single-acre lot

Similar-sized lots can be found in same neighbourhood

The subdivision of a one-acre agriculturally zoned property on the Cordova Bay Ridge has ruffled feathers but will advance to a public hearing.

Gordon Truswell grew up at 5197 Del Monte Ave. in the 1950s and remembers the area for its farms. The lot is one of the remaining few over a half acre in size in the immediate area. Most are a quarter-acre, the same as his proposed subdivision, but some in his neighbourhood are against the rezoning of the lot from A1 agriculture to an RS-12 single family dwelling.

Council voted 5-4 to push it forward as a group of opposed neighbours spoke out that the subdivision was against the character of the neighbourhood. Couns. Vic Derman, Vicki Sanders, Dean Murdock and Judy Brownoff were opposed.

Gerald Klassen of Del Monte, Karla Krane of nearby Helvetia Crescent and Heather Lewis of nearby Rutli Meadows were among those who spoke out against the subdivision. They cited a lack of buses, sidewalks and the ability to walk to nearby amenities as reasons to reject to property.

“We’re hearing that this development isn’t within the character of the neighbourhood but the aerial maps show it is consistent with the neighbouring [lot sizes],” said Coun. Leif Wergeland. “Why can’t someone else enjoy something that these residents are already enjoying.”

Truswell said even if the development didn’t go ahead this time around it’s not realistic to farm on Del Monte. But he did crack a joke that until it’s rezoned, the lot could host cattle, just as the Alberg farm on Mount Douglas Cross Road did until this year.

“I do read the papers, but I’m not going bring cattle here,” he said. “I’m not a big time developer, I’m a farmer, and this isn’t a farm. The money we get [however] is going to go into the family [dairy] farm in Cobble Hill.”

As a young man, Truswell was already passionate about farming and raised rabbits at Del Monte. He even processed them on site but he made little money, and gave it up.

One of the chief complaints against the Truswell proposal was a stand of trees he removed in 2013 in preparation for development. A subdivision proposal at that time was denied.

The trees were ones he remembers planting with his father.

“It was not a clear cut, it was an unkept hedge that grew out of control… they grew to block the sun out of the neighbour’s yard and the neighbour agreed to their removal,” Truswell said.

Sanders supported dropping the subdivision to three lots. Derman is opposed to the proposal as it will bring added greenhouse gas emissions to a drive-only neighbourhood that is not accessible by bike or bus.

The sentiment shared by those councillors who voted in favour is that the new lots are consistent with many of those around them. Kitty corner from 5197 Del Monte are four lots in an acre-size property.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read