Group seeks rezoning for Alexander neighbourhood

A group has approached city council asking for restrictions on new development

Mayor Henry Braun

Mayor Henry Braun

In order to preserve the form and character of their neighbourhood, a local group is asking the city to rezone their area to create restrictions on new development.

Devin Arthur spoke to council last week on behalf of the Alexander neighbourhood group, stating that of 117 homes petitioned in the area, 82 per cent thought implementing a zoning bylaw to preserve the form and character of the neighbourhood is good for residents and the appeal of the area.

The neighbourhood is characterized by large lots, with post-war style homes, and old growth trees, he said.

The residents’ request would place restrictions on new development in the area, as current zoning can “force inconsistent and invasive building into the neighbourhood, imposing on the unique style of the area,” according to the presentation.

Residents defined the neighbourhood as being bordered by, but not including, Marshall Road, McCallum Road, McDougall Avenue and McKenzie Road.

They want to lower the maximum height from what is currently allowed – from 9.5 metres to 6.7 metres – and increase the setback on the inside of the lots from 1.5 metres to 1.8 metres. It would also limit a single-family home to two storeys with a shallow roof pitch, or a single-storey house with a greater pitch, with potential for a second storey in the pitch.

Arthur cited the example of St. Helen’s Park neighbourhood in Surrey, which was successful in gaining rezoning for height and size restrictions on new structures in 2006.

Mayor Henry Braun said he would have to refer the issue to staff. While an overwhelming portion seem to support the request, there are others who may not agree who need the opportunity to be heard, he said.