Apartment proposal raises the ire of neighbours

Hilchey Road residents worry a multi-family development will destroy the atmosphere of their neighbourhood.

Hilchey Road residents worry a multi-family development will destroy the atmosphere of their neighbourhood.

Alan Barnes of Vancouver, the agent for owner Welsh Holdings, wants to re-zone his single-family property to allow a 22-unit apartment building.

Nearby residents have numerous concerns about the development.

“I do recognize this is part of a growing city, but I have plenty of concerns,” said neighbour Robin Cahill. “It will affect my property value and the privacy that I now enjoy in my back yard. This proposed development will forever change the complexion of my neighbourhood.

“This property has some extremely healthy beautiful mature tress and they should not be removed on the whim of a developer that doesn’t live in our city.”

Liz Lightbourne, planning tech for the city, said the property for the proposed development is within a residential area that is predominantly single-family housing. She said the applicant of the project wants to build a 22-unit apartment building within three separate buildings of two storeys each. Lightbourne said the development supports the city’s goal of neighbourhood diversity.

“Staff feel the introduction of a multiple family complex at this location will assist in providing this housing variety,” she said.

Local residents disagree.

Val and Bruce Graham worry about traffic and road conditions.

“My big concern is if the rezoning is approved the increase of traffic would be very unsafe for the children of our area. The intersection of Galerno and Hilchey Road is already a nightmare,” said the Grahams in a letter to the city. But the city says Hilchey road is a only minor arterial road not yet at capacity.

“Based on the busiest peak hour rate, the development site will add 15 new trips to the road network,” Lightbourne said. “This will be an addition of seven new trips. Given this, staff has no concerns regarding the proposed development in regards to traffic generation.”

Scott Mcinnis, who lives next door the proposed development, is worried about flooding.

“My backyard turns into a swamp each year, and as mentioned, there’s no way of retaining the large trees on the property,” Mcinnis said. “If you take away those trees there will be even more water on my yard.”

Lightbourne said the concerns raised will be addressed at the building permit stage. The re-zoning proposal is slated to go before council on Tuesday.