New infill subdivisions where one property is split into two are on hold, but those already underway, like this one on Bakerview Street, can proceed. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News

New infill subdivisions where one property is split into two are on hold, but those already underway, like this one on Bakerview Street, can proceed. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford halts new infill subdivisions as it awaits new rules

Push for denser neighbourhoods has met some resistance

The city has halted future small subdivisions amid concern from residents about how the city is densifying in central areas.

Council decided Monday not to hear any more applications to rezone land across a broad swath of central Abbotsford until staff come up with new rules that may address issues such as parking, secondary suites and house sizes.

The halt comes after concerns from residents at past public hearings about the pace of change and the character of new homes being built.

Related: when density knocks: As Abbotsofrd neighbourhoods change, some residents resist

Around 5,600 homes are located in areas designated by the 2016 Official Community for “infill,” where the subdivision of lots is allowed to enable more housing. Such activity often takes the form of a developer splitting a single lot into two, or two lots into three. It also allows for duplexes.

Promotion of densification is a key principle in the city’s Official Community Plan, but it has also prompted some concern about “overfill.”

“I think, for the most part, the community is changing and people aren’t opposed to the transformation of their neighbourhoods,” Coun. Brenda Falk said Monday. “I think the challenge is … that transition time: when all of a sudden the neighbourhood’s changing and you don’t feel like you fit anymore, and yet you’ve invested in your home.”

In January, 36 applications for such subdivisions that hadn’t yet come before council were placed on hold following a motion by Coun. Sandy Blue. Council decided Monday to allow those to proceed, but to suspend future applications until staff complete a study of the issue and develop zoning recommendations to govern the size and width of lots and houses, along with rules for parking, density and setbacks.

“We’re hearing what the neighbourhoods are saying and I think this is giving us a little breathing space,” Coun. Ross Siemens said.

That process is expected to be finished by the summer, but staff have already been collecting info on the housing in the neighbourhoods. Council got a first look Monday at that research.

It showed that in the neighbourhoods seeing the most change, older houses sit on land that has dramatically increased in value in recent years. In some areas, the value of the land is up to 10 times that of the buildings; by comparison, new homes frequently are valued equally to the land on which they sit.

 

Abbotsford halts new infill subdivisions as it awaits new rules

Just Posted

Terry Driver as he looked around the time of the killing of Tanya Smith and the attempted murder of Misty Cockerill in Abbotsford in October 1995. No current photos are available of Driver.
‘Abbotsford Killer’ Terry Driver denied parole, deemed ‘high risk’ to re-offend

Driver murdered Tanya Smith, 16, and seriously injured Misty Cockerill, 15, in 1995

Boats in the Fraser River launched from Barrowtown and Ft. Langley on May 12 to search for the missing fisherman. (Steve Simpson)
Boats search the Fraser River for missing Abbotsford fisherman

Anyone with ‘a boat, time, or a drone’ to help bring Damian Dutrisac home was asked to help

Mina Shahsavar is a fourth-year student in the bachelor of science in nursing program at University of the Fraser Valley and is an employed student nurse at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Submitted photo)
Nursing student in Abbotsford plans for career in critical care

Mina Shahsavar inspired during hospital stays as a child

The Canadian Forensic Health Corporation, made up of (left to right) Kirstin Simpson, Adrienne Fershau, Tiffany Kafka, Susan Short and Cole Bruce, are changing the game for the forensic nurse occupation. (Submitted)
Abbotsford nurses create Canadian Forensic Health Corporation

Tiffany Kafka, Susan Short, Kirstin Simpson, Cole Bruce and Adrienne Fershau teaching new generation

A pair of deer were spotted in Abbotsford on Tuesday (May 11) morning. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Pair of deer explore Abbotsford neighbourhood

Resident captures deer duo munching on foliage and then wandering off

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

What3words was first created in the U.K. in 2013 and is credited to saving the lives of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. (Contributed)
‘This is a life saving tool’: App helps paramedics find capsized canoeists near Revelstoke

What3words pinpoints the person’s phone location to a three-meter range

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Most Read