S. McLean area residents upset with neighbour’s renovations

A re-zoning development has raised the ire of several S. McLean area residents who fear alterations could change the atmosphere of the neighbourhood and de-value their properties

  • Aug. 16, 2011 2:00 p.m.

A re-zoning development has raised the ire of several S. McLean area residents who fear alterations could change the atmosphere of the neighbourhood and de-value their properties.

Campbell Riverite Barry Forberg wants to re-zone his property at 367 S McLean Street to allow a secondary suite in his single-family home.

But his neighbours worry it’s more complicated than that.

“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 neighbour Ron Dworski in a letter to the city.

“In my opinion, it was more akin to a duplex rather than a suite.”

Dworski attended a neighbourhood meeting June 25 in Forberg’s garage where he voiced his opposition to the re-zoning, along with every other neighbour that was in attendance.

A total of 25 letters from area residents opposing the re-zoning were also received by the city.

“Mr. and Mrs. Forberg are wonderful, considerate neighbours and there have been no concerns or complaints,” Dworski said. “However, unrestricted access at any time of the day or night, by someone other than the landowner has the potential for excessive noise.”

Despite protest from Forberg’ neighbours, city staff support the re-zoning.

“The Official Community Plan encourages a variety of housing forms to support neighbourhood diversity and healthy communities,” said city planner Ian Buck and Ross Blackwell, land use manager, in a joint report to city council. “Staff feel the introduction of a secondary suite at this location will assist in providing this housing variety within an area of predominantly single family homes.”

Forberg applied for a re-zoning permit after starting renovations on his home some time ago.

He had applied for a building permit to upgrade the unsafe foundation of his home.

“During that process the applicant started to undertake renovations to the lower floor of the house at which time the building inspector advised a separate permit would be required,” Buck and Blackwell said in their report.

“Prior to undertaking the permit application the applicant is requesting re-zoning to permit a secondary suite.”

If the re-zoning goes through, Forberg would convert his basement into the secondary suite.

But neighbours are concerned by what Forberg told them at the neighbourhood meeting.

“Mr. Forberg has stated publicly that he intends to rent out both sections of his house, effectively making this a duplex rental and not a home with a secondary suite as the wording of the re-zoning application implies,” said Roland and Coreen Hack in their letter to the city.

“Furthermore, Mr. and Mrs. Forberg plan to move to Alberta and will be unavailable should any problems arise. The prospect of a neglected rental unit with an absentee landlord has the potential to negatively affect our neighbourhood, our quality of life, and the value of our homes.”

Tom and Darlene Franklin, who live behind the Forberg residence, are also concerned about the noise that a second family would generate.

“We highly value the peace and quiet of the existing neighbourhood,” said the Franklins in their letter.

“I know no one in the neighbourhood supports Barry’s proposal for re-zoning.”

“I would hope city council would support the wishes of the neighbours and not side with one resident who desires to change the environment of the neighbours and neighbourhood for his own personal gain.”

The issue was on the table for city council to discuss and possibly refer to a public hearing at Tuesday night’s city council meeting after the Mirror went to press.

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