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Salmon Arm council agrees bike lane, street lights too much for homeowner to fund

Plan to construct single family home and garage on farmland triggers costly upgrades
Salmon Arm Council is being asked to waive city requirements to build a bike lane and add three streetlights at 1160 20th St. SE in Salmon Arm where the addition of a single family home is being proposed. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Salmon Arm council agrees that having to pay for a bike lane and three street lights is too much to ask from a single family homeowner.

A city staff report explained that a proposal from owner Arlene Brown to construct a single family home and detached garage on a 1.2 hectare (three acre) parcel at 1660 20th St. SE in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) triggered road upgrade requirements in the city’s Subdivision and Development Services Bylaw.

Adding to the cost of upgrades would be the wide frontage at 135 metres.

The owner requested that the requirement to replace the BC Hydro light and install three davit lights be waived, along with the requirement to to install a bike lane.

Joe Johnson spoke on behalf of the Brown family at the city’s planning and development services meeting on Sept. 20, noting that the cost of the upgrades would be onerous for someone building a modest home on an existing lot created in 1941.

He said the property owners to the west of the street enjoy the semi-rural setting and would be happy not to have additional street lighting at this time.

Members of the Brown family wrote a letter to council, explaining the family is not developing a subdivision for multiple buildings or profit.

“We are simply returning to Salmon Arm to assist our elderly mom maintain the currently active farm. And in fact, wish to keep the land as close to its natural state as possible.”

Council discussed many aspects of the proposal such as the possibility of the land coming out of the ALR, the current state of bike lanes and sidewalks in the area, whether extra street lighting would be necessary for safety, and the possibility a partial cash contribution.

Mayor Alan Harrison asked Johnson whether the family had considered a cash contribution and what they would consider fair. Johnson said he had worked out a number based on what an average single lot would pay. He told Harrison $20,000.

Council split the motion containing both the street lights and the bike lane into two separate ones.

They then voted unanimously to move the development variance permit application to the upcoming Sept. 26 meeting of council at 7 p.m. There they would have had time to consider more fully options to waiving all the requirements and be able to propose and vote on one.

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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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