An Eagle Mountain lot purchased a decade ago, and now being sold, by Mayor Henry Braun has triggered suspicions of his political opponents.

Abbotsford mayor’s property sails through council hearing

Prospective buyer hopes to build home on vacant Eagle Mountain site owned by Henry Braun

The public will get the chance to weigh in on whether a house should be built on a property that Mayor Henry Braun is trying to sell.

Council raised no objections Monday to variances that will allow the city to issue a development permit to a prospective buyer of an Eagle Mountain property currently owned by the mayor. Braun had recused himself from the matter.

The issue will come back to council again, with the public given the chance to comment. The next council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17.

The three-quarter-acre Locarno Court site is heavily treed with significant slopes. The proposed house will be tucked into the property’s southeast corner, but it will still be closer to a small stream than is allowed without council giving the thumbs up to variances.

To proceed, the applicant, local developer Dave Algra, must promise to set aside an area twice as large to be fenced off as a habitat and riparian area behind the house.

Consultants employed by the applicant found “there will be no serious harm to fish or fish habitat,” as long as building followed guidelines in the report.

There was no opposition to the proposal from council, and Coun. Ross Siemens said the application “makes sense and is consistent with what we’ve done in other areas.”

The property in question was bought a decade ago by Braun and his son, Darren, who is now the city’s director of development planning. Henry Braun said in October that he and Darren – who also recused himself from the matter at Monday’s meeting – had hoped to subdivide the site and build a pair of homes on it.

The site was the subject of speculation by Braun’s political opponents during the fall election campaign after a website operated by council candidate Vince Dimanno published documents related to the pending application.

Dimanno said the application process raised a number of questions, but Braun said nothing untoward had taken place and that he was simply trying to unload a vacant lot purchased a decade ago.

Braun said neither he nor his son involved themselves in the city process of evaluating the proposed variances and development permit.

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