A controversial Alder Street development inched closer to reality as council approved a re-zoning application at its last meeting to make way for a multi-family housing complex.
Council gave third reading and adoption to David and Jared Welychko’s application to re-zone the lot at 741 Alder Street – near the corner of Alder and 7th Avenue – from Residential-One (R-1) to Residential-Three (R-3) to accommodate a triplex.
The application for three, 1,300 square foot, three-bedroom units has generated its fair share of opposition from residents who live near the vacant lot.
Council heard from several of those neighbours at a public hearing July 9 at city hall.
Although Coun. Mary Storry was opposed, council went ahead with approving the re-zoning at last week’s Tuesday council meeting but Coun. Larry Samson made sure the project is not a done deal.
“If we’d like to see a different type of building, it would come before council at a further date?” Samson asked city staff.
Ross Blackwell, the city’s land use manager, replied that it will come back to council for approval of the development permit which the Welychko’s have already submitted to city hall but will still need to go before council.
“If concerns remain over the potential massing arising from the R-3 setback and the impact on neighbouring properties, council has the option, prior to giving final adoption, to require registration of a restrictive covenant on title, limiting the height and massing to prescribed setbacks,” Blackwell said.
This means council could impose conditions on the development permit, such as requirements for landscaping like trees or shrubs for privacy, which is a big concern for nearby residents.
Tyson Mielke, who lives next door the proposed development site, told council at the public hearing that the drive-way for the development is proposed to run along the side of his yard and with six parking spaces drawn up at the back of the building, that could mean a lot of traffic running alongside his home every day.
Mielke noted the triplex would also look out over his house.
“The height of the structure will allow tenants to peer unimpeded into our backyard and deck,” said Mielke who purchased his home knowing the area was single-family housing. Now that could change.
“When you purchase a home we feel that there’s a reasonable expectation that the neighbourhood will not change too dramatically and we feel that this triplex is quite a dramatic change,” Mielke added.
Howard Milner, who lives on 7th Avenue, said if the proposal is granted his view will be obstructed.
The Welychko’s are proposing to build a 7.9 metre high building. Under the R-3 zoning, the developer is allowed to build up to 10 metres high, compared to the maximum of eight metres for R-1 zonings.
The triplex is also expected to be set 12.2 metres back in the front yard and have a 30.5 metre rear yard setback. All of the parameters meet what’s allowed in the R-3 zoning.
Jared Welychko told council July 9 that the triplex will create “new, reasonably-priced housing within walking distance of a revitalized downtown core” and be “ideal for a retired couple or a small family looking for entry level housing.”