Members of the public once again had their opportunity to express their opinions about the Bear’s Paw Heights zoning amendment bylaw, since it was changed following the previous public hearing.
The public hearing, hosted March 19 at town council, was for the Town of Golden Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1409, 2019 – Bear’s Paw Heights Duplex.
The purpose of the bylaw is to amend the zoning to allow for duplex lots in phase three of Bear’s Paw Heights on Selkirk Hill, and in the next phase, as well as adjust duplex setbacks in a number of residential zones.
The bylaw amendment would allow for two duplex lots in phase three of Bear’s Paw Heights, and two duplexes in the next phase.
The newly proposed bylaw has been amended to remove the proposal to rezone four interior lots on Juniper Street, and only includes two corner lots in phase three and two more in the next phase.
Residents were invited to provide their feedback in writing by letter or e-mail until March 14, and orally, in person at the public hearing on March 19.
Some residents at the meeting cited that they were never against the two corner lot duplexes that are being proposed, and others hoped their concerns for adding duplexes would still be taken into consideration from the previous public hearing.
Residents continue to be concerned with parking additional vehicles that would come along with building duplexes in the neighbourhood, and increased traffic in the residential neighbourhood, and on Spruce Drive, which limits speed to 30 km/hr as it heads to and from Alexander Park Elementary School.
The school is located at the bottom of the steep and winding street where 14th Avenue S. meets Selkirk Hill.
“I think there’s a place and a location for them, and I don’t think Selkirk Hill is necessarily one of them,” said resident Spencer Lainchbury about constructing duplexes, adding that he is concerned about any increase in traffic on that street. “Any additional traffic on that road is not good.”
Others raised concerns about the increase in short term rentals, and that buyers from elsewhere might purchase the lots with intentions of renting them out to visitors, and not long term residents. A number of people cited that the Town of Golden does not have a short term rental plan in place yet, which could encourage outside buyers to jump into the market.
The Town of Golden continues to work on a plan regarding short term rentals, and the influx in their popularity.
“We’ve been discussing a framework for drafting up a bylaw for short term rentals,” said Town of Golden planner and manager of development services Phil Armstrong.
Overall, residents were concerned about enforcement for short term rentals, parking implications, traffic flows, densification, and compliance with the official community plan.