NOCA Requests Exemption from proposed By-Laws

The following is the content of a letter your board composed and sent to the City Council. The actual letter is attached at the bottom of this article.
Dear Mayor Ruttan, City Council and City staff,
We as the board of the Nanaimo Old City Association (NOCA) write to request that all lots currently zoned RS-1 and RS-1a within the boundaries of the Nanaimo Old City be exempt from the following changes in the proposed bylaw rezoning: reduction of minimum lot size – particularly where there is lane access, increased height of accessory buildings and allowance of corner lot duplexes.
Because time is of the essence we ask that you bring this request forward and meet with us before the bylaw change comes into effect (August 8th), so that our concerns may be addressed and amendments made before that time. Of significant time concern is the potential for bringing previously failed plans forward.
We support this request with the following points:
  • May 2, 2011 rejection by City Council of the small lot development proposal at 952 Wentworth Street – City Council soundly rejected this proposal citing several specific and varied concerns about this type of development in this area. Of more than 50% of all homes in this RS- 1 section of Old City Neighbourhood area, 80% of signed a petition against this proposal and small lot zoning.
  • July 11, 2011 rejection by City Council of a variance request for a proposed 2-storey carriage house at 281 Machleary Street citing them as unsuitable for this neighbourhood.
  • Exemption from the minimum lot size of the new bylaw for the Westwood Lake Neighborhood (passed 3rd reading at the writing of this letter).
  • The acceptance of corner lot duplexes in the Nanaimo Old City RS-1 area would have a negative effect on the area by promoting increased alley traffic and a significant change in ambiance.
While we were led to believe that the Old City Neighbourhood Plan protected us from changes currently proposed in the new bylaws, it now appears that is not the case. The Old City area is one of Nanaimo’s oldest and most unique neighborhoods, with a significant stock of heritage homes that reflects its turn of the century roots in ambiance and pedestrian scale. We care deeply about protecting this well-established neighborhood from unsuitable and irreversible change.
We respectfully ask that the RS-1 and RS-1a sections of the Nanaimo Old City be exempt from the proposed bylaw changes and that a clearly stated set of design guidelines and a process for community consultation regarding single-family dwellings in this neighbourhood be established.

pdf iconNOCA 20110726 bylaw exemption request.pdf

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