Letter: Density should be based on what the land is zoned now, not potentially in the future

Tuesday, July 5 2016

It was confirmed at the Community Information Meeting regarding the Potlatch application that the calculation of the number of lots the applicant is entitled to is made up of 17 lots from the Forestry zone next to the 707 and 8 potential densities from the current zoning on the receiver parcel; in total 25 lots. Out of the 8 lots in this calculation, 3 are attributed to the Forestry zoned parcel at the end of Church St.

In a density transfer, the OCP clearly states that for each re-zoning to Resource Residential 2, the density of the receiver parcel is calculated by adding together the number of transferred lots and “the number of parcels allowed by the current zoning”. The current zoning on the Church St. Forestry parcel (approx. 76 acres) allows one lot for every 148.2 acres, so only one lot is allowed. The parcel itself constitutes that one lot, which means that the calculation of the existing density in the application is incorrect. It assumes the Forestry-zoned parcel currently has a density of 3 lots when it only has 1.

The rationale given by planning staff is that it is somehow temporarily rezoned to Resource (with a density of 3 lots) on its way to being rezoned to Resource Residential 2, and uses the densities from this hypothetical interim zoning to calculate the current density total. 

Interestingly, the planner described this move in the newspaper as being ‘for the sake of transparency’, but truncating a process in this manner is the furthest thing from transparent, and serves only to obfuscate the process.

The simple fact is, the current density is what the land is zoned now, not in the future. The Forestry zoned parcel has a density of 1 lot, not 3 lots, and the total lot entitlement should be adjusted to reflect that.

~ Daniele Rudischer