Fred Taylor on the new Zoning Bylaw

Fred Taylor:  June 23, 2011

Mayor Ruttan & Council Members:

May I state I am opposed  to the proposed new Zoning Bylaw 4500.

I often wonder who demands change to the quality of life, neighbourhood and community.

I, for one have always understood our Community has attracted new comers not based upon change of density.  I remember just a few years ago the City Manager provided a power point presentation to the Council using Benson Meadows, the spacious subdivision adjoining Shady Mile on Jingle Pot Road as the type of attraction to our Community.

What type of a high density ‘bedroom’ are you trying to create?

“Nanaimo’s unemployment rate double provincial average” should be a message you are in the wrong direction !

The ‘Executive Summary’ is quite clear “…..if adopted, the new Zoning Bylaw will reflect the goals of the OCP…..”

May 16, 2011, I did state “…..the rewrite of the Zoning Bylaw …..establishes our OCP of more than just a guide for decision making in regards to planning and land management issues.”

There was question when I raised the issue of Section 890 sub 4(a) of no more need for public hearings if a proposed Zoning Bylaw is consistent with the OCP.

Well, just as I stated here is an example.

Town of Comox, May 18, 2011 has just waived the holding of a public hearing for the exact reason, “the proposed development is in compliance with the intent of the applicable policies of the OCP.”

Again, I will say GOODBYE public hearings, neighbourhood involvement, the OCP will prove to no longer be a guide; we will conquer the neighbourhood for the developer without public hearings.

I strongly encourage the Council to continue to provide a neighbourhood the opportunity to the question of smaller lot area / density; our present zoning bylaw is a very good up to date working document.

Council has just said ‘no’ to higher density in a few neighbourhoods after listening to those affected, even abandoning related bylaws.

Yes, the stakeholders have been consulted; local developers, design professionals, land use consultants, Chamber of Commerce Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, Plan Nanaimo Advisory Committee etcetera.

Staff report suggests approximately 120 members of the general public attended the Open House Meeting with only 62 surveys in hand

This is far too low public involvement to change our Zoning Bylaw.

Staff in their wisdom advertize this public hearing in a local newspaper, a newspaper apparently only having a  4000 circulation: may I suggest to limit debate about the new zoning bylaw or attendance to this meeting ?

The May 17, 2011 Plan Nanaimo Advisory Committee appeared to be lead by influence.

A PNAC member raised question as to how much area of the City is covered by building schemes /covenants regulating lot size, building size, height etcetera with concern of the proposed new Zoning Bylaw.

To recall the words of the Design Review Chairman who was in attendance; it’s what the people want, higher pitched roofs, smaller high density lots, etcetera.

He continued,  referring to a structure within the PNAC members neighbourhood as the architect of the project, stating the higher pitched roof etcetera you see is within your covenant requirements and encouraged the support of the new bylaw.

Well time will soon tell!

As well, was there really a need or purpose for the minutes of the May 17 meeting to ignore this dialogue ?

And I do note, Land Title office will not accept a sub-division of any of the properties within the area I reside as stated in the building scheme.

In my opinion, another PNAC member also mislead the group on fence height, suggesting a lower fence encourages the building of a neighbourhood.  He simply just does not understand Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, it’s between public and private property the protection is needed.  I for one have 4′ fencing between myself and my neighbour.

Again, since 1979 a 2.4 metre fence height has been established for side and rear yards, why create this long established height as illegal non-conforming for all the established fencing.

Staff use Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design to support the reduced height, suggesting sight or open view to private property is a deterrent to crime, little do they know!

Private property is not always under watch, not expected to be lighted for night watch and needs a barrier to trespass.

I beg to differ, Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, Courtenay, Qualicum, Parksville, Victoria, Duncan, Ladysmith etcetera all have over 6′ height side and rear yard fencing.

Council meeting of June 13, 2011,  Andrew Tucker’s power point presentation did name other municipalities  fence heights.

Kamloops was portrayed  to allow a 1 metre fence height for side and rear yards; Kamloops  Bylaw  5-1-2001 section 5309 (a) is very clear “fences to a maximum of 2 m shall be permitted in the  rear and side yards ( 1 metre only in a yard that abuts any street; the principal means  of access to a lot,  I believe to infer the front of a lot ); as well 2 metres in a side or rear yard abutting a major road.

Again, Kelowna was portrayed to allow a 1 metre fence height for side and rear yards; Kelowna Bylaw 8000 section 7.5.3 is again very clear “no fence constructed at the natural grade in residential zones shall exceed 2.0 metres in height” ( 2.4 abutting agriculture or commercial zones)

Before leaving the Director of   Planning  / General Manager of Development Services report;  8 out of the 11 Communities actually are over or shall we say allow higher side and rear yard fencing than the proposed 1.8 metre for Bylaw 4500.

A 7’8″ fence is preferred to a hedge / trees of uncontrolled height which creates complaint to the loss of distant view by adjoining neighbours.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design addresses public space not private space.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Natural Access Control limits the opportunity for crime by taking steps to clearly differentiate between public space and private space.

Just travel our Community and view all the illegal fencing installed by the City, 50% higher or 6 feet for residential front yards.