Residents in Townsite are once again expressing concerns about construction activity associated with the new Sullivan Landing development, citing issues with the No Disturb Covenant that is located at the perimeter of the land.
Kimberley resident Bruce Kirkby wrote to City Council at the end of July on behalf of residents of the 600 and 700 blocks of 5th Avenue, whose homes border the development and the covenant along the alley.
Kirkby says that current construction activities taking place in Sullivan Landing appear to be in “flagrant violation” of the covenant.
This is not the first time that residents in the area have written to Council with similar concerns.
As Kirkby noted in his letter, before the creation of Sullivan Landing, Townsite residents worked together with Teck to create and protect a 60m tree buffer along the alley behind 5th Avenue.
“During the development process for Sullivan Landing, we asked that a 30m buffer be maintained to protect the values of our homes,” wrote Kirkby. “The OCP (Official Community Plan) shows a trail connecting [the] Lois Creek Trail system with the Nurse’s Trail, and we suggested a 30m buffer would be a perfect location for this trail.”
He adds that a 15m ‘No Disturb’ buffer was granted, and the trail routed through the centre of the subdivision, which he says “has now remained a rocky wasteland for almost a decade”.
Two separate variance applications have also been made since then, requesting incursions into the buffer, one of which was revoked and the other voted down by Council.
“Regardless of whether trees have been removed – the thick forest in neighbouring lot and imagery from Google Earth strongly suggest they have – there is now a levelled road in that buffer, which is used by daily trucks and excavators,” said Kirkby. “I’m sure the proponent will promise ‘reclamation’, likely with grass and landscaped shrubs, but despite that, what is taking place contradicts the spirit of the agreement, which was to leave a strip of undisturbed land.”
He also pointed to a strip of larch trees along the covenant, which he says has substantially less of a chance of surviving winds.
“Six out of seven City Councillors voted to protect the buffer last summer, and I think they would be disappointed to learn, despite their vote, of the incursion, clearing and soil movement,” Kirkby wrote.
Council discussed the letter at a Regular Council Meeting on Monday, August 12, 2019.
Manager of Planning Services Troy Pollock started the discussion by saying, “it’s a bit frustrating I guess. They are not building anything within the covenant area, but disturbing the area at the edge of the covenant with haul loads and equipment coming and going.
“We have been in discussion [with the developer] about a reclamation plan, but there’s always going to be some of that activity. We will ensure that it’s suitably cleared.”
Kent Goodwin asked how they can ensure that the buffer is preserved in the future.
Pollock replied saying that with some of the remaining units closer to the entrance of the development, there will be more of an area to build within so there is less of a concern.
Mayor Don McCormick says there was no intent from the developer to destroy the covenant.
“It’s an unfortunate circumstance,” he said. “With it being a cul-de-sac, as you move down the covenant area the lots get further and further away. There is intent from the developer to develop a plan for remediation.”