Wednesday October 22, 2014

Voice against Head Start Homes heard

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Yorkton Council gave unanimous second and third readings to an amendment to the City’s Zoning Bylaw to allow for Phase I of the York Colony Subdivision to move forward.

“The next step in the Administrative process to prepare for development in the York Colony Subdivision is to rezone the lands within the Phase I area. The lands are currently zoned C-3 Highway Commercial. At this time, the Plan of Proposed Subdivision for 20 lots within Phase I has been approved by Council but the remainder of the development remains conceptual, pending feasibility for sanitary sewer servicing. As such, Administration is of the opinion that rezoning should occur only within Phase I,” explained Michael Eger, Planner with the city.

“The 20 lot Council-approved subdivision is to be developed under the Head Start on a Home entry-level housing program. Rezoning the lands to R-1A Small Lot Residential will accommodate a little bit higher density of Single-Detached Dwellings with narrower lot widths and reduced front yard setbacks.”

The development did have one voice of concern appear before Council Monday,

Paula Niebergall said she had concerns over the impact the development could have on already full area school enrollments, and on the impact homes built through the government program could have on adjacent property values.

Niebergall said both M.C. Knoll and St. Michael’s School are already full.

Mayor Wilson pointed out schools “are not our jurisdiction,” adding “no matter where we grow,” it will impact the school in that area”

Niebergall countered the Head Start homes could introduce problems to the school.

“If you mix people of different socio-economic status you can have problems in school,” she said, adding it was only her opinion.

Councillor Chris Wyatt took up the issue suggesting “opinions are like noses, everyone has one.”

Wyatt said he does not want people to get the wrong idea about the development, adding he saw that occur before he was on Council when people over-reacted to a proposed group home in the Silver Heights. At that time Wyatt said people were almost “getting torches and pitchforks” ready, and he didn’t want to see that with Head Start homes in York Colony.

Wyatt said the homes planned for the development may be starter homes, but they are still valued in the $200,000 region.

As for property values and Niebergall’s added concern of mixing socio-economic groups with area schools, Wilson said it was not something he was concerned with.

“This is a community for everyone,” he said, adding “our concern is making sure we have shelter for everyone.”

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