Developer considers options

Steelhead property owner "baffled" about council's decision

Steelhead property owner Dean Hodgson is reviewing his options after the Mission council shot down his plans to develop 80 acres of land last week.

Mayor Ted Adlem said he was disappointed the developer didn’t conduct an independent survey to see where Steelhead residents stood on the project, but Hodgson said the public needed more information before they couild proceed.

“How could the Steelhead community vote on something they know nothing about?” asked Hodgson.

He said a number of issues needed to be resolved before an independent survey could be completed. Hodgson said the designation and first reading as well as the recent launch of their website would help provide important details of the new proposal for the public. There is a feature on their site where  people can communicate directly with him on the project.

“Once informed, they’d be ready for a professional survey on the subject, which could have been ready for a public hearing.”

On Jan. 7, Hodgson presented council with a plan to subdivide the property, located on Thomas Avenue and Cardinal Street into 31 lots. This request came after Hodgson had originally put forth a proposal for 65 lots on the property back in September of 2012. After a council-initiated information meeting with Steelhead residents, Hodgson revamped his plans.

This time he was looking to redesignate the land to rural residential from its current rural zoning. Under its current zoning, lots must be a minimum of four acres. If granted new zoning, lots must be at least 1.7 acres. Hodgson’s plan called for an average size of 2.56 acres.

“We considered and did a cost analysis of a four-acre development and it simply isn’t financially viable,” said Hodgson.

Hodgson said he’s baffled the plan was rejected considering he received first reading to a project more than twice the size less than four months ago.

Located north of Mill Pond, the Steelhead area is home to a small number of hobby farms and remote homes on acerages.