The maximum building height of a home zoned for urban infill in Chilliwack has been lowered.
City council approved a staff recommendation at it’s first meeting in March 2 for a text amendment to the R1-C zone to cap the height from the existing maximum height of 10 metres, down to 8.5 metres or two storeys.
The goal is helping urban infill projects better integrate into existing, mature neighbourhoods in Chilliwack where most single-family homes are one or two storeys high.
It has been a recurring concern of residents at rezoning hearings that developers could choose to build up to three storeys (the existing maximum of 10 metres), which could mean it eventually towering over the neighbours – perhaps casting a shadow.
To address concerns about infill development being out of scale with the neighbourhood, council directed staff in November to bring back a draft text amendment limiting the height of R1-C homes to 8.5 metres, or two storeys.
As a result, a builder would have to apply for a development variance permit going forward to propose an R1-C home taller than 8.5 metres.
Coun. Kloot thanked the residents who have continually come forward to share concerns when changes are being proposed in their neighbourhoods, and those who made this happen.
“I think what we’ve achieved here today is something that will blend in better with existing neighbourhoods, and hopefully alleviating many of the fears we continually hear around this table,” Kloot said.
Coun. Harv Westeringh noted it was not often they get unanimous support for “a decrease in density” around the committee table the way this did. Most of the subdivision applications do result in a two-storey anyway, he said.
Coun. Jeff shields said he was really pleased by this change, saying it creates “an opportunity for old and new” to co-exist.
“Someone’s home should be their safe place,” without having to worry about a neighbour’s home casting a shadow over it, he added.
Council gave third reading to a text amendment to the R1-C (Urban Infill) Zone to lower the height maximum.
The City of Abbotsford capped its infill maximum building height to 8.5 metres in 2019.
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