Mission councillors did not halt a development application even though it does not conform to the Official Community Plan (OCP) and is not consistent with the Fraser Valley Regional District’s urban growth plans.
Instead, elected officials are letting the developer, Lyle Holman, proceed with a public input meeting before the district holds a public hearing.
Holman wants to amend the OCP and rezone 3.26 hectares (13 acres) of land on the northwest intersection of Cedar Street and Dewdney Trunk Road from rural residential to urban residential. The minimum lot size in that area is 1.73 acres, and the developer would only be allowed to subdivide the property into six or seven lots. The proposal is to create 65-75 lots with a minimum lot size of 6,006 sq. ft.
District staff recommended against the change because the OCP is designed to guide growth and development, and moving away from it will create uncertainty for residents and the question the document’s validity.
The property is outside the Cedar Valley Comprehensive Development Plan area.
The developer believes the land is ready for change because it is located across the street from urban residential zoning and can easily access district water and sewer lines.
While council agreed the proposal was premature, most were open to receiving public input. Coun. Larry Nundal was absent and Coun. Nelson Tilbury was the only one opposed to moving the application forward.
“This is going out too far too fast and it’s not consistent with the OCP,” said Tilbury.
There’s an unwritten rule with developers that you don’t go out and try to buy all the property you can to build, he added. “If we go with this, it will open up the flood gates. We need to think about this.”
“Mission has an urban and rural section,” said Coun. Dave Hensman. “It’s important to honour both sections. This appears, to me, to be a bit of a leap frog to put density in an area that should be rural.”
Coun. Jenny Stevens said, “To change from rural to urban is a big change and not fair to the people up there.”
Coun. Tony Luck said he liked the proposal, but doesn’t agree with it.
“I think the city needs patchwork to give us the green spaces and parks that we need. We need to talk to the developer about the timeline.”