Council approves shop in spite of a few complaints

Shop height is over the allowable height limit, but Campbell River councillors don't mind

City council will allow a couple to build a tall shed on their property despite objections from neighbours.

Mike and Judy Miller asked council Tuesday night for permission to build a shop, larger than the allowable size, beside their home on McDougall Way, in the Painter’s Lodge area.

The Millers asked council to increase the maximum floor area for an ancillary building from 80 square metres to 139.35 square metres and to increase the height limit from five metres to 5.79 metres.

The pair intend to use the shop to store their 30-foot travel trailer, 30-foot boat, truck and other household equipment.

“This is going to be our retirement community and (my husband) wants to be able to work in his shop,” Judy Miller told council.

But three neighbours are complaining about the Millers’ shop.

Ken Antonelli who lives a street over from the Millers attended the neighbourhood meeting and, according to the couple, was supportive of the project. One month later he changed his mind.

“If the building had a flat roof there would be no problem as the trees that block my view now could be trimmed. But the high pitch roof would always be there and block my view,” Antonelli said in a letter to the city. “I also feel that the bylaws for the builders are there for a reason.”

Miller said she didn’t understand where Antonelli’s change of heart was coming from.

“He says he’s afraid his view will be affected but right now he doesn’t have a view because of  a cedar tree on a neighbouring property,” Miller said. “Our house is a two-storey house, it will be taller than the shop. I don’t see how our shop will block his view any more than our house will.”

Neighbour Michael Gajdzik worries the shop will affect his “property value and future development plans.”

Miller acknowledged Gajdzik’s house is for sale, but noted it had been for sale months before the couple put in a request for the variance.

“To add .7 metres? I don’t know how this would affect selling his property,” Miller said. “I don’t really understand his objection. I spoke to a couple of realtors about it and they say they don’t think this is so.”

Neighbour Robert Dockson is concerned the shop will alter the look and feel of the McDougall Way neighbourhood.

But Miller said Dockson was not at the neighbourhood meeting and didn’t see the plans for the building.

“I don’t think he has a grasp on what it will look like,” she said.

Council agreed and gave unanimous approval for the Millers to build their new shop.

The shed is expected to match the look of the Millers’ home, with the same roofing shingles, stone and stucco siding. The Millers’ also plan to keep the shed hidden from the road with a fir fence, cedar hedge, and large trees.