City council has rejected a development variance permit application for a six-lot development at 18 Woodland Drive, for the second time.
The application was brought back to council after being narrowly rejected at its Oct. 6 meeting, causing more residents to write letters opposing the application. Several letter writers attended Tuesday evening’s council meeting to share concerns in person.
Woodland Drive resident Dr. Paul Magnuson said Woodland already has a significant amount of traffic, especially foot traffic as many people enjoy walking there on a regular basis.
“Increasing the volume of vehicles on the street without proper road width and sidewalks will pose a significant safety concern,” he told council.
Others said they were in favour of development but that allowing projects to occur in any part of the city that are not up to the current standards would be a step in the wrong direction.
In his application, developer Jim Willson requested the city reduce the road width standard from 11 metres to the current state of the road which is six metres. His application asked for hydro, telephone and cable to be above ground rather than underground, that street lighting be allowed on hydro poles and storm sewer drainage be at ditch level rather than underground.
Coun. Scott Nelson was an advocate of the project throughout the permit process, but said Tuesday he was wrong.
“I thought it was a project that stood the test of time,” Nelson said. “I thought we could find the balance but the community has spoken very clearly about the project.”
Nelson added he thinks the city needs to focus back on bringing water and sewer to the Woodland Drive area.
Coun. Laurie Walters received nine calls from people in the community and had several one-on-one conversations that caused her to change her mind on approving the development.
“It is our obligation as leaders in this community to make informed decisions and this community has spoken and they don’t want this development to happen,” Walters said, noting she was very proud of the citizens who came forward and were passionate about their concerns.
Coun. Craig Smith, who opposed the variances all along, said he’s not for development at all costs.
“I had severe safety issues brought forward by the staff that affected my vote as well,” Smith said.