Adhere to zoning and don’t piecemeal older areas of town

It is time to bring to everyone's attention what our Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) is doing and allowing around this beautiful town.

Dear Editor,

It is time to bring to everyone’s attention what our Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) is doing and allowing around this beautiful town we call home.

On June 1, I along with fellow neighbours attended an MPC meeting for development removing two single-family homes and replacing them with two fourplexes. I wish to inform residents of the lack of knowledge the MPC has with regards to zoning bylaws, how unprepared they were for this meeting and what they are allowing.

The notice of proposed development that was mailed to area residents had an incomplete legal description and described the parcel as Low Density R1, which is incorrect. A Land Use Bylaw controls the use of land in our community. It states how land may be used, where buildings and other structures can be located, lot sizes/dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street. They contain specific requirements that are enforceable. Several bylaws were not adhered to.

Not one of the MPC members seemed to be knowledgeable on what an R2 zoning entails. Three of these members at this meeting are elected members of our council. They could not properly answer how garbage is removed from a fourplex building. The balconies are not in compliance. The size of the decks were never noted by development authority as being on the side yard.

MPC is allowing the land relaxation, which states in the bylaw 55 per cent maximum parcel coverage to 61 per cent.There is already a parking problem at the Bethany Centre and Sylvan Lake Lodge — people are already having to park on 47 Avenue, 48 Street and 47 Street. These proposed fourplexes have eight parking stalls each, and eight stalls in the drawing are tandem parking. Tandem parking is not allowed as the bylaw states.

In our agenda, it states that with the way the developer has the tandem parking configuration in place, it will likely lead to people parking on the street. Furthermore, there is already a non-conforming fourplex in this block as well as the next block south, and more wrongs do not make a right.

Staff continuously used the term “discretionary” and ignored other Land Use Bylaws. The significant number of written responses opposed to this — 11, to be exact — were completely unheard at this meeting. I was never told adjacent landowners do not pay the $150 appeal fee until I showed staff the bylaw. I inquired about this with Planning and Development. It took 40 minutes of my time, and in the end I left with no answers. I did receive a confirming phone call later on.

Let’s adhere to R2 zoning and not piecemeal older areas of town. If they stuck to the R2 Land Use Bylaw, the land would comfortably situate two duplexes. There is no need for this as there is no shortage of land in Sylvan Lake.

Fellow neighbours and I will be appealing this.

Bryna Boisvert

Sylvan Lake