It may be the middle of summer, but Leduc councillors are already thinking about snow, after an issue with narrow townhouse lots had them realizing changes need to be made.
Speaking at the July 14 City council meeting, manager of Current Planning and Development Carol Hampton said; “A current townhouse development in the Robinson neighbourhood has a handful of narrow lots that will make the storage of snow on the residential property difficult, but residents are not allowed to push snow off of driveways or sidewalks and onto the street. However, nothing in the city’s current policies can address the issue or force a developer to change their currently subdivision design if it falls under the city’s guidelines, which this does.”
“Developers of Stage 4 of the Robinson Neighbourhood want to have a section of their subdivision redistricted to include two standard residential single detached lots, 38 lots for duplex housing, 20 lots for zero lot line housing with rear lane access, 21 lots for zero lot line housing with front attached garages, one lot as a public utility lot for the future municipal water reservoir and one lot for park development. Six of the townhouse lots in the plan do not have enough room to store snow between the driveways,” said Hampton.
In the past, Council asked administration to review subdivision plans to ensure there is adequate space to store snow on private property that has been removed from front driveways. The City’s Land Use Bylaw regulates the setback requirements and lot widths, however, there are no regulations within the Land Use Bylaw relative to storage of snow between driveways.
“We need to develop options and talk to developers, then bring it to council,” said Hampton.
“While City staff have suggested this could be addressed by replacing those cul-de-sac townhouses with single residential units,” said Hampton, the developer has not agreed with this idea, saying there isn’t a demand for that kind of product, while there is a high demand for townhomes with access to the park. The developer also noted the current design complies with City regulations and believes there is adequate room for snow storage.
Councillor Dave Mackenzie agreed, saying it is not localized to one neighbourhood.
“It’s a nightmare. Most people buy in the Spring and Summer and don’t realize there’s no room for snow storage until they’ve already moved in,” he said. “You can’t put it on the street so we have to do something about this.”
Hampton said staff have looked to see what other municipalities are doing but has not found any one with any kind of policy that will ensure lots are large enough to accommodate snow storage.
Council gave first reading to the redistricting because it does meet the City’s current guidelines and policies but Mayor Greg Krischke directed staff to do what they needed to do to address the issue and bring it back to council so future developments would not have the same problems for residents.
The application will be brought back to council Aug. 11 for Public Hearing.