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Neighbourhood objects to re-zoning

An outpouring of opposition to a neighbourhood re-zoning prompted city council to drop the homeowner’s project.

Barry Forberg wanted to re-zone his property at 367 S McLean Street to allow a secondary suite in his single-family home but council refused to give him the okay.

“There’s so many not in favour of this re-zone that I will not support it,” said Coun. Ziggy Stewart at Tuesday’s council meeting.

A total of 25 letters from residents all within 100 metres of Forberg’s home were sent to City Hall, strongly against the re-zoning.

After attending a neighbourhood meeting in Forberg’s garage in June, most came away with the impression that the secondary suite would turn the home into a duplex.

“The suite is not an ‘in-law suite’ as I initially thought, but a complete re-make of the lower level of the house, complete with private parking, private entrance and completely independent laundry and household services,” said one neighbour Ron Dworski in a letter to the city. “In my opinion, it was more akin to a duplex rather than a suite.”

Coun. Roy Grant questioned whether there was some miscommunication between the city and the neighbours.

“This is simply a secondary suite,” Grant said. “I’m wondering if possibly staff might have given the wrong information or impression to the neighbours because of the number of letters that mentioned a duplex.”

He also acknowledged that this is not the first time people have fought change in their neighbourhood.

“Often times when there’s a re-zoning such as this there are sensitivities, especially in neighbourhoods such as this where the character has already been established,” Grant said.

Just last month, a proposal for a subdivision on Jacqueline Road was similarly defeated because neighbours put up such strong opposition, believing it would alter the atmosphere of the area.

Neighbours of the most recent re-zoning proposal also worried about Forberg’s intentions to re-locate to Alberta and the problems that could arise with having what they called an ‘absentee landlord.’

After reading all the letters from neighbours, council refused to make any motion, including to send the proposal to a public hearing, effectively defeating the re-zoning application.

Forberg can re-apply for a re-zone in six months.

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