Letter: Applicants are not tied to the stated intent at subdivision

Tuesday, July 26 2016

In the Community Information Meeting presentation we were told that the applicant is donating 47.7 acres of park which includes 8.4 acres that are required by the Local Government Act (Mallet Pond and Creek). To be clear, the applicant intends to give, as the required five per cent park, a pond and creek which are already protected by provincial Riparian Areas Regulations. This is reminiscent of the required access to water on the same landowner’s previous development, which is in an inaccessible steep ravine that runs along Mallet Creek to the ocean.

There is nothing in the application that guarantees that 47.7 acres of park will be donated at the time of subdivision. The only requirement at subdivision is the five per cent (8.4 acres). If proposed Bylaw 290 goes forward with a minimum average lot size of 4.7 instead of the 6.7 mandated by the OCP, there will be subdivision potential for 33 lots not 25. 

Now, if you look at the subdivision concept plan you can see that the only land left on which to situate an extra eight lots is the proposed park. If you were the landowner and you had a zoning that allowed 33 lots would you develop to the extent that the zoning allows? A one acre lot is currently priced at approximately $100,000 and five acre lots at over $200,000. If there is only a covenant standing in the way of a full realization of the zoning and a profit of over $1,000,000 wouldn’t you challenge the covenant? 

I foresee a development of 33 lots with strata roads allowing no access to the public except the riparian area around the pond and along Mallet Creek (the required five per cent dedication). 

Whether the remaining acreages would be dedicated as park remains unknown; they could just as easily be designated common property for the strata development. 

I know that this scenario is not the applicant’s stated intent, but there is nothing presented so far that suggests the applicant is actually tied to the stated intent at subdivision. There is no park marked on the receiving parcel map in the proposed bylaws. This scenario is what would be possible if the application goes forward as is, with the incorrect minimum average lot size and no guarantees the subdivision will go forward as shown on the subdivision concept map.

~ Gisele Rudischer