Lantzville bylaw changes pave way for subdivision

NANAIMO – Amendment will allow for creation of a subdivision on agricultural land.

Lantzville will make a change to its official community plan.

During a meeting on Nov. 28, Lantzville councillors voted 5-2 in favour of approving an amendment to the district’s official community plan bylaw.

The updated bylaw will now allow for rezoning and creation of a subdivision that’s less than eight hectares to be created within a parcel of agricultural land and is supported by the Agricultural Land Commission.

The changes were spurred by a proposed zoning amendment to a large parcel of land on Lantzville Road. The owners were requesting to subdivide 0.4 hectares of their property, which includes a small dog kennel that has been in operation for years.

In another 5-2 decision, councillors voted in favour of allowing that property to subdivide. Councillors Mark Swain and Dot Neary voted against the two motions.

Both issues had been originally raised earlier this year. During a Nov. 14 council meeting, Glen Carey, the agent for the property, told councillors that nothing would physically change on the property, but that the kennel area would fall under commercial zoning.

However, Swain had concerns about what might happen if councillors were to approve the subdivision application, pointing out that other property owners on Agricultural Land Reserve land might want to do the same thing.

“I have a real concern over the precedent that we actually are setting here. There is no guarantee that this one-acre parcel is going to remain a dog kennel forever and we are going to have people potentially with [Agricultural Land Reserve] lands that they want to subdivide down to smaller lots,” he said.

Coun. Bob Colclough told councillors that he had no issue with the zoning request because the kennel has been operating in the same location years.

“If this was an application for a subdivision of a lot for a new kennel, I would not be supporting it,” Colclough said.

Mayor Colin Haime told the News Bulletin he was fine with the amendment and the events leading up to its approval, adding that the property in question hasn’t changed in years.

“The use of the property has been the same for decades … so basically what it was, was just a recognition of what was already existing but with no real change,” he said. “When we did our OCP back in 2005, our zoning bylaw wasn’t updated to match the OCP to begin. So there are a lot of places where the current existing use may not match the OCP.”

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