Condo development near Meadow Lakes approved

A condo development near the Meadow Lakes Golf Course will go ahead. City politicians voted to rezone the .25-hectare lot Monday, effectively endorsing the project.

A condo development near the Meadow Lakes Golf Course will go ahead.

City politicians voted to rezone the 2.5-hectare lot Monday, effectively endorsing the project.

A few weeks ago, council vetoed the condo development after several neighbours expressed concern about the impact a high-density development could have on the local aquifer.

A motion by Coun. Dave Austin to reconsider the proposal brought it back from the brink.

The approved project has been significantly scaled back from the original plan.

It shows a willingness to compromise, said developer Jeff Luehmann, who also owns the adjacent Meadow Lakes Golf Course.

“I believe I’ve done all that’s been asked of me,” said Luehmann. “Now I’ve taken it a step further by reducing the size of this development.”

In the revised proposal, the number of units has been reduced to 13 from 22.

There will be four separate wells and septic systems to service the units.

Area studies suggested the water table could have accommodated 22 condos, said Luehmann.

With the smaller development there won’t be any impact on the aquifer, he said.

Also, the water to irrigate the condo’s common lawns and gardens will not come from well water.

Instead, the development will tap the golf course’s irrigation system, which runs off surface water.

Even with its smaller footprint and the environmental mitigation efforts, not all politicians were convinced it was a good idea.

“It’s a first step to completely altering the country residential lifestyle,” said Coun. Betty Irwin, one of two councilors who voted against the development.

“It doesn’t address the real need for housing or the sustainability objectives of the city.”

There shouldn’t be any high-density development in areas that aren’t serviced by transit or city services, she said.

Coun. Dave Stockdale agreed with her.

“I’m still opposed to this development,” he said. “It does not conform to our Official Community Plan or the zoning, and this is not the type of housing we are looking for in the city.

“We’re looking for rental and affordable housing.”

With units in the swanky development projected to cost upwards of $400,000, even councillors who voted for it said it would do little to alleviate the dearth of housing.

“There’s no shortage of housing in the $400,000 to $600,000 range,” said Coun. Ranj Pillai. “Weather it’s 13 units or 22, I don’t think it will affect the housing problem.”

While Austin vigorously supported the development, others were a little more muted in their approval.

“When you think of all he could do under the zoning this would be the lesser of the evils that could have come for the residents out there,” said Coun. Florence Roberts, referring to the possibility of building a hotel, something that would have been allowed under the original zoning.

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