North Shore development variance could set ‘precedent’ for the area: development services

The photo is an aerial view of one of the development lots on the North Shore. — Submitted
The photo is an aerial view of one of the development lots on the North Shore. — Submitted

A new four-lot development approved for the city’s North Shore could have lasting implications for future investment in the area, warns the city’s manager of development services.

Pam Mierau said the application from the owners of the property at 746 Highway 3A on the North Shore to vary the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw — to allow the subdivision of the subject property into four lots — would have some deeper ramifications.

“Although the proposal does not significantly impact municipal services it does disincline future investment by the city in providing community water service and fire hydrant service onto the North Shore,” she said in her report to council on the application.

“This could also lead to precedent for future development in the area. Such development would result in a patchwork of services to the area.”

However, the city currently has no plans, both short or long-term, to expand the water system or fire hydrant service to the North Shore of Nelson, said Mierau.

The proposed development variance would allow the subdivision of the existing lot into four lots. The final configuration of lots would include: one lot with the existing six-unit multi-residential dwelling; one lot with the existing two single detached dwellings; and two vacant lots. The developer intends to put a single detached residential unit on the two vacant lots.

Although the existing property was partially serviced with the City of Nelson sanitary sewer system — sewage from the existing six-unit dwelling is pumped up to a connection to a sewer main close to Highway 3A — there is no city water system that could provide potable water or fire hydrant service to any properties on the North Shore of Nelson.

The development would connect the existing two septic systems to the community sewer system, while two existing septic tanks and associated fields would be decommissioned and subsequently would be attached to the community sewer system.

All sanitary would be required to be pumped to the sanitary sewer connection on the existing property through a right-of-way through the proposed lots as opposed to being located in the highway right-of-way.

Variances to the city’s Subdivision and Development Bylaw would allow potable water to be provided by an individual well or individual water license for each of the proposed lots, as well as fire flow to be provided by a fire hydrant system. Water for fire protection would be provided by a certified tanker pumper service from the Nelson Fire Department.

There is the North Shore Water System (a private water system), but the cost to provide service is prohibitive since the system is at capacity, Mierau stated.

“The proposal … would lessen the future demand for expanding the City of Nelson community water system to the North Shore which could impact future development,” she said.

The variance itself “would have no impact on adjacent properties other than the properties where the infrastructure would cross,” said Mierau.

Development on the 8,065 square-metre site will likely impact neighbouring properties, she added, however the property owner currently has the right through zoning and the development permit process to develop the existing lot for up to a total of 48 units at this time.

“The proposed development would have significantly less impact on the property than would a maximum of 48 units,” Mierau said.

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