Yesterday evening Merrittonians packed the council chambers to have their voices heard on the proposed rezoning of the property at 1330 Pine Street.
The proposed change is from agricultural to low-density residential.
During a nearly one-hour public hearing, various groups and individuals spoke to their concerns surrounding the property, most of which revolved around the flood plain.
Apart from the developer’s agent, no member of the public in attendance spoke in support of the change.
City Councillors had their say when the motion returned for third reading a short time later.
“These are going to be the safest houses because they’re going to be built to the newest and latest and greatest standards,” said Coun. Tony Luck. “My concern is about the current residents that are living there, they aren’t going to be protected. To me, this development seems to be fairly safe in a sense of flooding.”
“I think R2 is the right zoning for this Collettville property, I don’t have a problem with the R2 zone,” began Mayor Linda Brown. “I also don’t have a problem with the flood plain. If we stopped building on flood plains in Merritt, we would have to close our doors because we have no land other than what is on flood plains. We have to deal with mitigation, we have to deal with flood control.”
“Personally, I would rather not encourage any more building adjacent to waterways. However, I don’t have a difficulty rezoning it to R2, most of Collettville is already classified as R2,” said Coun. Kurt Christopherson. “I have enough confidence in our staff to make sure other people are not put at risk. I have confidence those issues are going to be looked at.”
Coun. Mike Bhangu attempted to defer the motion however that was defeated on the spot.
The motion would be passed 5-2. Councillors Bhangu and Adam Etchart were in opposition. The motion will require final adoption at a future council meeting.
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