City council experienced deja vu this week.
After being voted down two weeks ago, Hidden Haven, a proposed development near the Meadow Lakes Golf Course was raised from the dead on Monday.
Coun. Dave Austin revived the development with a motion to reconsider. Without that motion, landowner Jeff Luehmann would have had to wait a year before getting another hearing before council.
But while council is reconsidering its position, the residents of nearby Fox Haven are not.
The majority remain staunchly opposed to Luehmann’s plans for the land.
All of the houses around the golf course are serviced by wells and septic.
Luehmann’s proposed 20-unit condo development would also rely on septic and wells, which has community members concerned about protecting their aquifer.
When the rezoning was defeated two weeks ago, many of the councilors also expressed concerns about the aquifer.
Luehmann came armed with engineering reports that, he said, show the development is “very responsible.”
But Luehmann’s engineering reports are designed for an 8-unit condo development, not a 20-unit building.
Luehmann explained that it was a “phased development,” and his plan was “backed by the integrity of the city’s planning department,” who recommended that council approve the zoning changes.
“The project is for the betterment of the community,” he said.
But the community is not so sure.
Only one neighbour showed up last week to voice his approval of Luehmann’s plans, while all Fox Haven residents who came forward Monday were opposed to the project.
“There needs to be more thorough objective research about the potential impact on the water supply and traffic patterns,” said Lynn Poile.
The proposed 20 units “basically quadruples the density of this country-residential neighbourhood,” she said.
Kelly Pollard agrees.
“There are many high density developments going up that already have infrastructure in place to accommodate them,” she said. “There is no compelling reason that the zoning should be changed.”
The septic system that is proposed for the development uses technology that, while popular in other jurisdictions, has never been used in the Yukon.
This worries Caroline Carter.
“Has it ever been tested up North?” she asked.
There has been a lack of consultation, said Carter.
“(Luehmann) sends lots of emails about dogs being off leashes but we never received any of these engineering reports,” she said.
With so much opposition to the development Mayor Bev Buckway encouraged Luehmann to hold a public meeting to help clear things up.
Coun. Ranj Pillai was willing to reconsider the development, but said that a creative solution needed to be found to guarantee some measure of protection for the neighbours.
Council voted in favour of the motion to reconsider.
The bylaw will come back to council for second reading on August 22.
Contact Josh Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org