Top Stories of 2011: Chilliwack cuts hillside density

Buildout potential was cut down considerably in the City of Chilliwack’s latest area plan for the Eastern Hillsides.

Buildout potential was cut down considerably in the City of Chilliwack’s latest area plan for the Eastern Hillsides.

The new density threshold is set at 1,700 homes for about 4,000 people, which is less than a third of what people were talking about in the mid-1990s.

The 4,000-people mark was pegged as the threshold at which infrastructure costs would rise “significantly,” creating uncertainty as to how those costs could be shared equitably, according to city officials.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz said the plan would most impact those who had purchased land on speculation that there would be higher density, but hillside residents were sure to like the decrease.

City reps used descriptors like “more viable” and “sustainable” to describe the revised hillsides area plan that they’ve been working on for more than a year.

The real costs of servicing and infrastructure were calculated and taken into account with this document and that’s what makes it different from past plans. It surveys that available capacity to support growth, especially in terms of the geo-technical limitations around Panorama Heights, as well as looking at environmental and market forces. The city was forced to purchase homes on Panorama Heights when it was discovered they were shifting and built on an ancient slide before they had the tools to assess such things.

Topography in the hillside regions can be “very steep” with 45 per cent of the land at more than 30 per cent grade, which is not suitable for development.

There’s also a scenario where buildout is at 6,000 homes, but it’s contingent on about $20 million in infrastructure money being produced up front to rebuild Annis Road and modifications to Prairie Central Road.

Update: The hillsides area plan went to public hearing and will be coming before council for final approval with OCP amendments sometime in 2012.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Umbrella decorating contest to raise funds, awareness for Ann Davis Transition Society in Chilliwack

People invited to decorate red umbrellas as part of Umbrellas for Change: The Ann Davis Art Contest

No injuries in midnight house fire near Sardis Park

Crews from five Chilliwack fire halls responded to get house fire under control

Chilliwack school district staff working on September classroom plans

More information about back-to-school plans to be unveiled by Aug. 26 says senior district staff

Chilliwack-Hope MP looking to celebrate pandemic community heroes

Eligible community heroes include individuals, businesses and not-for-profits

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Gangster Jarrod Bacon released from prison for third time

Parole board continues to express concerns about Bacon’s behaviour

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

UPDATE: Man injured in targeted shooting in Maple Ridge

Shots fired from one vehicle into a white Hyundai

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read