The debate over rezoning a residential lot to a commercial one in New Hazelton is heating up as the residents voice their concerns about having an Italian fishing lodge in the middle of their neighbourhood.
While it may all be a done deal since the past Council Meeting on Monday, the week leading up to this recent meeting found residents preparing to take on the council members and challenge their consideration for rezoning.
Last week resident Liz Lazzarotto met with the New Hazelton District Administrator Donny VanDyke to raise her concerns and ask questions.
While he was able to answer most things, she said, the future is still unclear and lays in the hands of the mayor and elected Town Councillors.
Some of the important issues for residents she said are things such as having a large parking lot in her neighbourhood and a lodge in close proximity to a town park, in addition to a lack of information for residents the past few weeks.
“I asked why were we rushed to speak at the past meeting when we needed time to peruse the plans of the commercial building at the last council meeting,” she said. “We felt we were given false information because we did not have plans for the zoned buildings and then there are the plans that indicate a large 18 car parking lot. We also didn’t feel like we were properly informed about this from the beginning. Why not give a leaflet to all the residents?”
According to Lazzarotto, Van Dyke explained that they are required to place two ads in the newspaper within a reasonable time of sale according to the Community Charter, which he says they did. They also put an ad in the Browser which he said was going the extra mile she stated.
She also asked questions about protocol, the outdated maps used in the advertisement, why the buyers were not present at the meetings and the next step in the rezoning process.
The residents brought these concerns as well as many more to the table on Monday but due to press deadlines, information was not available at press time.
Minutes from the past meetings are published on the District of New Hazelton website at www.newhazelton.ca.