City councillors surprised Mayor Colin Basran when they rejected what should have been a simple development permit for a property on Coopland Crescent with a 5-4 vote on Monday.
The applicants wished to develop a duplex laneway dwelling behind a principle property that already offered two units. Councillors appreciated the addition of more suites, however, they brought forth concerns surrounding parking and space constraints.
The parking options, which meet the bylaw requirements, didn’t make a lot of sense for Coun. Hodge. A single-car garage would be built for the new laneway duplex and five vehicles could park behind it, but one spot is directly behind the garage entrance blocking it.
City planner Lydia Korolchuk said the parking situation will call for some “funky manoeuvring.”
“What funky really means is they wind up on the streets or in the alley,” Hodge said. “Funky isn’t funky to me.”
“You can paint a pig with any stick you want, it’s still a pig,” he said. “This isn’t going to work.”
Coun. Given said the site was too tight for two buildings, five cars and a garage.
“I don’t know if we’ve achieved the best we can achieve on this lot,” she said. “I think to do that, we would have to redevelop the entire site from scratch.”
Coun. Loyal Woolridge agreed.
“It just looks like we’ve higgledy-piggledy tried to fit everything into this lot,” he said.
Councillors Maxine DeHart, Brad Sieben, Hodge, Woolridge and Given voted in opposition of the proposal.
“A little unexpected,” Mayor Basran said, reminding councillors to voice their concerns. “I think the applicant would probably appreciate, too, some explanation as to why we’re turning down the proposal.”