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Hearing no objections, council approves workshop

A variance to increase the maximum permitted height of a working garage to a home in the Painter-Barclay area was granted by council Tuesday night with no opposition from the neighbours.

As part of the variance process, the owners were tasked with holding a neighbourhood meeting to discuss their proposal, but nobody showed up.

Council also did not receive any letters voicing concern by the start of Tuesday’s council meeting.

Mayor Walter Jakeway said he couldn’t see anything wrong with the application to build the garage/workshop in the owner’s back yard.

“I went and looked at it today. It looks like it’ll fit just fine and the neighbours shouldn’t be offended,” Jakeway said. “The lots out there are all large and the neighbour out there that’s the closest has a fairly substantial evergreen hedge so they probably won’t see the building anyway. It looks like a good location.”

A report to council from Chris Osborne, city planner, agrees with Jakeway’s assessment that the closest neighbour, on Pengelly Road, should not be too greatly impacted.

“There is a densely-spaced line of cedars along the lot boundary, approximately five metres high, which would very effectively screen the building,” wrote Osborne, who recommended council approve the variance. “The proposed variance would not have a significant adverse impact on neighbouring properties, beyond that which might otherwise occur from a building of smaller floor area. The variance would not have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area.”

The proposed 110 square-metre garage is intended to be built to accommodate vintage logging trucks. Jakeway said the owner also plans to work on restoring vintage fire trucks. The garage is expected to be clad in wood or Hardie-plank style vinyl siding in order to blend in with the neighbourhood, as per a request from city staff.

“Initially the applicant supplied images of a steel-clad building of industrial appearance,” Osborne wrote. “Staff voiced concern that this finishing, in combination with a larger building would introduce an unwelcome and discordant feature into a residential neighbourhood.”

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