Subdivision proposal on Woodland Drive called into question

Two Woodland Drive landowners are wondering why they cannot subdivide their large city lots.

Two Woodland Drive landowners are wondering why they cannot subdivide their large city lots.

Residents Lance Marshall and Troy Weil told staff and council during Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting that when they purchased the properties they could have subdivided them into lots measuring a minimum 2.5 acres.

In 2010, however, the city amended its zoning bylaw to prohibit the subdivision of lots not connected to the city sewer and water system due to ongoing water issues in the area.

At the time the intent of the subdivision prohibition was to ensure the infrastructure costs associated with rural development on the fringes of the city would be borne by the land developers, city planner Nigel Whitehead explained.

“Without such a provision, rural lots could be developed on individual septic and well systems,” Whitehead noted in a report to council.

“When these systems begin to fail, or when water quality or quantity issues become prevalent, pressure is put on the city to extend services to these areas at a cost to the general taxpayer.”

Marshall said while he appreciates efforts the city has made to try and secure grant funding to hook Woodland Drive residences to the city’s water system, he believes that’s not going to happen.

“Water’s not coming now, that’s why I’m here asking to subdivide,” Marshall said.

“I’m not a developer, I’m just trying to subdivide one lot.”

Marshall’s lot is already hooked up to the city’s sewage system and he has an 80-foot artesian well.

Weil was also asking to subdivide his property.

Marshall described their properties as a “sellable” product, with lots of water and the tie in to the city’s sewer system.

Whitehead said any applications to subdivide would be stopped because the area would need to be rezoned and the official community plan would have to be amended.

Both rezoning and amendments involve public input, he added.

Council received the report, but couldn’t make any decisions because it wasn’t a regular council meeting.

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