Marc Ferrero stands at the microphone at a public hearing for the proposed zoning bylaw in Harrison Hot Springs.

Public speaks out against zoning bylaw in Harrison

Harrison residents worry secondary suites will bring traffic chaos, devalue property

About two dozen residents turned out for a public hearing regarding the proposed zoning bylaw in Harrison Hot Springs on Monday night.

And almost all of those who spoke during the hour-long meeting expressed their disapproval of the draft bylaw, which clearly sets out rules for secondary suites.

“I’m against the bylaw,” said Hank Smith, of Harrison.

“I, too, oppose secondary suites,” added Marg Doman.

It was a message that was repeated by most who chose to speak. Some of the concerns voiced included a decline in property values, an increase in traffic and crime, and inconsistency with a building covenant that some say they had to sign before building.

“This bylaw goes through and I’m gone,” said Peter Bugden. He brought a copy of the covenant, which he said he had to sign before he could build his Miami River Drive house. The covenant states that the minimum size for a dwelling is 1,100 square feet. The proposed bylaw states the maximum size of a suite could be about 968 square feet.

“This thing has to have some kind of power,” Bugden said, holding the document. “It superseded you (the Village office) in the day.”

Others worried about parking woes. While the proposed bylaw states that a both a house with or without a suite would be allowed a maximum of four cars, those at the meeting stated there would be no way for the Village to enforce parking.

And that, they fear, will lead to congestion on the streets.

“The centre of the Village will be every day like Canada Day,” said Leslie Ghezesan.

Spiro Halatsis, who was also opposed to the changes, stated that he left Surrey in the ’90s when they allowed secondary suites. He wondered why council would allow secondary suites to come in and “destroy this nice peaceful village?”

“If something isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said. “What we had was working fine.”

John Allen spoke three times at the microphone, in addition to five letters he sent to the Village before the hearing. Prior to the public hearing Monday, there were two open houses led by Andre Isakov, manager of planning and community services.

In total, Mayor Leo Facio said the Village received 10 letters. They were not read at the public hearing, but were available for the public to read.

Allen is opposed to the bylaw for numerous reasons. The bylaw states that a homeowner can only rent out one portion of a house.

“It’s a foolish thing to put in a bylaw,” he said. “You cannot regulate who lives on a property.”

He added that the current Official Community Plan states that the Village must provide for a range of housing, and the proposed bylaw doesn’t allow for residential, single family dwelling neighbourhoods free of secondary suites.

There will be “basement suites all over Harrison” if the bylaw goes through, he added.

No decision was set to made at the public hearing. It was a chance for the public to hear the proposed bylaw and give feedback to the Village staff and council.

It will come before the council at a later date, and will require three readings and adoption.

news@ahobserver.com

 

Just Posted

Agassiz-Harrison Museum showcases refreshed galleries, exhibits

The museum opened for the season on the May long weekend

Chilliwack man urging drivers to follow rules of the road

‘People might think I’m stupid for doing this but it’s my life,’ says scooter operator

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

LETTER: Emergencies can wait on Sasquatch Mountain

Hemlock Valley resident Andy Ibbetson writes about his concerns on the new E-comm 911 service

Semi truck crashes into highway barrier cable near Chilliwack

Witnesses warning other drivers to watch for debris in other lanes

VIDEO: Quadriplegic man takes flight over Harrison Mills

Jim Ryan hasn’t moved his arms or legs for three years, but that didn’t stop him from paragliding

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Missing man last seen near Cultus Lake may have walked into the U.S.

Chilliwack RCMP asking for public’s help to locate 29-year-old Timothy Delahaye of North Vancouver

Most Read