Considering infill growth

A development proposal which would add 31 homes to Trout Creek received council support but opposition from many residents.

A development proposal which would add 31 homes to Trout Creek received council support but opposition from many of the residents who spoke out on Monday evening.

The plan calls for 31 single family lots on a 3.2-hectare parcel near Powell Beach. Houses would be in the RSD1, RSD2 and RSD3 lot sizes.

The smallest properties, in the RSD1 zoning, would be smaller than 500 square metres, while the largest, in the RSD3 designation, would be more than 1,000 square metres.

Those opposed to the proposal said the RSD1 lots, which account for 14 of the 31 home sites, are too small to suit the character of Trout Creek. At present, there are no properties in Trout Creek within the RSD1 designation.

While Trout Creek’s unique character must be considered, the question must be asked whether the smaller lots would alter this character significantly. The plan as presented would have just two more lots than if all the proposed lots were in the RSD2 designation.

Those in support of the development said the smaller lots will provide more affordable housing solutions for those seeking to live in Trout Creek.

The need for affordable housing in Summerland has been identified for many years and in that time, various proposals have been presented.

Affordable housing often involves smaller homes on smaller lots. However, Trout Creek has been characterized by large lots and higher housing prices than in other parts of Summerland. Because of the nature of this area, it is questionable whether homes on smaller lots would meet the requirements of affordable housing.

Accommodating growth in Summerland will involve at least some infill developments. How much this proposed infill development will affect the character of Trout Creek remains to be seen.