Village Council approves Development Variance Permit

Village of Harrison Hot Springs council approved a development variance permit for a property located at 480 Hot Springs Road

Village of Harrison Hot Springs council approved a development variance permit for a property located at 480 Hot Springs Road during its last regularly scheduled council meeting for 2014.

“It definitely has some constraints for building a single-family dwelling,” explained Lisa Grant, manager of development and community service in a presentation to Council.

She showed a diagram of the property, located across the street from the Village office and explained the permit would allow the house to shift forward and provide more space at the back for riparian area requirements.

According to the report in the Council agenda for December 15, the property is currently undeveloped. It is .98 acres long and narrow-shaped. It gently slopes towards the Miami Slough at the rear and is fronted by the Hot Springs Road. The property is zoned Low Density Residential R-2.

The village’s zoning bylaw requires a setback of 7.5 metres. The development variance permit was requested to allow the setback to be reduced to 4.5 metres to maximize the property for building.

Grant reported the applicant still needs to meet other requirements before building, such as working through the riparian area approval process, obtaining an engineering report and building permit. The developer will also require Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Highway Access Permit.

“Staff is supportive of this development variance application at this time,” Grant told Council.

Council members briefly discussed the permit. Councillor John Buckley commented that there was no reason it should not be allowed as other variances have been given in the past.

“I see no problem with this recommendation before us,” he stated.

Councillor John Hansen was missing from the meeting but all others voted in favour.

Harrison resident Ed Wood questioned how the property value will be affected. He wondered if there was a process in place for the Village to recover costs as his understanding was this property was part of the parks and trails concept map which shows the Miami Slough greenway for future trails.

Ian Crane, chief administrative officer, responded that this property is not designated as a park or greenway but is designated as a resource property which allows for the building of a single-family home.

Wood also questioned allowing the building to be constructed closer to the road. He remarked that the moving of the property is a “huge eyesore” for the community.

Mayor Leo Facio disagreed, remarking he doesn’t think it will make a huge impact on the appearance of the community.

Other business in the meeting was to approve committee appointments for 2015.

Mayor Leo Facio is fulfilling the role as municipal director for the Fraser Valley Regional District and Hospital Board. Councillor Samantha Piper will be sitting on the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Relations Committee while the Fraser Valley Regional Library Board representative is Councillor Sonja Reyerse. Deputy mayor for January through March is Reyerse, followed by Hansen then Buckley then Piper for three month periods each.

At the brief meeting, Council also authorized village staff to make an application to renew the current tenure for the Civic Plaza. The village’s 30 year lease expires in May of 2015. The new lease will be for another 30 years of use by the community for the public space.

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