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New subdivision for Telkwa in the works

Developer asks for amendements to bylaws to build a new subdivision in in Tower Road neighbourhood

Telkwa is being accommodating to a developer trying to create a new subdivision in the village near the Tower Street neighbourhood.

At last Tuesday night’s meeting, council discussed a development variance application from Blissful Grove Developments (BGD).

The applicant wanted to vary seven provisions of the subdivision and development serving bylaw. While he got most of what he requested, council stood firm on two things.

BGD has owned the property since May of 2019 and has plans to create 60 lots over the next 15 years. The site was zoned for commercial development but in December 2019, BGD was successful in changing a portion of the property to residential. Phase 1 includes 14 single dwelling units between .35 acres and 1.1 acres with underground service lines within walking distance to Tyhee Lake Provincial Park.

Notice was given to property owners within 60 metres of the applicant’s property and none expressed concern ahead of the meeting. However, one property owner showed up to the council meeting to voice his concerns to one of the proposed amendments.

In total, BGD wanted to make seven amendments. Council agreed to five including varying the minimum design speed for the roads within the subdivision; varying the minimum horizontal curve radius to increase safety and be consistent with the proposed design speed; waiving the regulation requiring the installation of street trees; waiving the need for irrigation for those trees and shrubs and waiving the regulation required to construct paved sidewalks.

But Council was not willing to waive the regulation requiring paving the roads with asphalt.

The nearby property owner who attended the meeting told council the roads in the neighbourhood that aren’t currently paved are in rough shape and urged the village to force the developer to pave the roads in the new subdivision.

Councillor Leroy Dekens and Councillor Derek Meerdink spoke in favour of that as well.

“If he does’t put asphalt up there then we have to maintain the road the whole time. How many times we do go up and grade Tower or Skillhorn? That is just adding another thing for us to maintain,” said Dekens. “That is an expensive cost for the village.”

“I agree,” echoed Meerdink. “At the end of the day it is beneficial to everyone.”

The other variance that was accepted only in part was a request to reduce the amount of performance bonding, which is a surety issued by an insurance company or bank to guarantee satisfactory completion of the project by the developer.

The normal requirement is to bond a value that is 125 per cent of both the external and internal cost of works, and BGD requested that they only bond the value of the external works.

Instead, Council agreed with the CAO’s recommendation to change that to an amount that will be determined by the CAO, director of operations and director of finance at a later time.

Mayor Brad Layton was not in attendance and Councillor Annette Morgan chaired the meeting.

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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