Over the objections of developer Gary Schofield – who has submitted a petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia – Ladysmith Council went ahead with ‘spot zoning’ at 606 Farrell Road after a public hearing June 22.
Speaker after speaker at the hearing urged council not to allow more density on the property than was permitted under an existing covenant EX060486, and to amend Ladysmith’s zoning bylaw in accordance with the covenant’s limitations.
A bylaw to that effect had already been passed in April, but had to be repealed after it was learned proper notice had not been served. The replacement Bylaw 1881 earned unanimous support from council.
Schofield, owner of Natura Developments Ltd., had filed a petition with BC Supreme Court asking that the first bylaw (1875) be quashed because he had not been properly notified of the required public hearing.
In his appeal to the BC Supreme Court he also asks that the restrictive covenant on 606 Farrell Road be removed, which would allow another 25 units to be built on the undeveloped portion of the site in addition to the three units completed when the property belonged to a previous owner, who had agreed to the covenant in 2005.
Removing the covenant without rezoning would almost double the total number of units permitted at the 606 Farrell Road strata, from 15 to 28.
Surrounding property owners and residents of the 606 Farrell Strata voiced their opposition again, at the latest public hearing.
“The development plan which was submitted to the Town of Ladysmith by Natura Developments for an additional 25 units on this property is totally not what we think of as reasonable,” said residents of the completed portion of the Farrell strata Cleve Carleton, Murray and Sandra Hannah, and Adrian and Angie Salahub in a joint letter to council.
“No considerations were given for the character of the land, just putting up as many units as would fit. Sight lines and views from our units would be severely compromised with 20 foot walls and roofs in front of us; parking for existing units is severely limited, with no visitor parking indicated; and this letter is not even addressing the style of the units, emergency access and a whole host of other concerns.”
Natura Developments argues in its BC Supreme Court application that the provisions of covenant EX060486 are ‘obsolete’, that they impede reasonable use of the land “without practical benefit to others”, and that the covenant should be cancelled.
Alternatively it suggests the covenant should be seen as only applying to the already developed portion of the lands, and that the total number of units should not be limited to 15.