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Property owners allowed to build despite instability of land

The application permits were approved, subject to the owners meeting all the requirements of the municipal building and zoning bylaws
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Two property owners will be able to construct additions to the side of their homes even though the buildings are located in an area where the land is unstable.

City council gave unanimous approval during its July 8 regular meeting to the two applications that requested development permits in a slump hazards overlay zone. One permit will allow for the construction of two new decks at 1253 Wolfe Avenue, while a second permit will allow for the construction of a new deck at 670 Aldersgate Street. 

Both properties are within an area of the municipality designated S2 — low to moderate slump hazard overlay district. According to the zoning bylaw, developments within the slope instability districts may only be permitted at council’s discretion, subject to a favourable geotechnical report. 

The application permits were approved, subject to the owners meeting all the requirements of the municipal building and zoning bylaws, while also adhering to the recommendations contained with two different geotechnical reports from Ground Engineering Consultants Ltd. 

Michelle Sanson, director of planning and development services, told city council that city administration is satisfied with both geotechnical reports and their conclusions that the instability of the valley wall near these properties is low.

Coun. Dawn Luhning was confused as to why the applications came to city council for approval instead of the development appeals board. She pointed out both application permits fit the bylaws. 

Any applications from property owners in an S2 district must come to council for approval, Sanson said. If council rejects the applications, then the property owners could go to the development appeals board to appeal the decision. 

The property at 1253 Wolfe Avenue contains a one-unit dwelling that was built in 1973, according to a report from city administration. The owner has applied for a permit to demolish and rebuild two attached decks on the side and rear yards of the property. The property is about 55 feet by 125 feet in size. 

The property at 670 Aldersgate Street contains a one-unit dwelling constructed in 1962. The owner wants to demolish and rebuild an attached deck in the rear yard of the property, which is about 155 feet by 100 feet in size. 

The next regular council meeting is July 22. 




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