There is a public hearing on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 7pm at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre regarding the rezoning of many single dwelling residential lots. The significance of this meeting is that it shows the planning trend in Nanaimo. The problems in rezoning these single dwelling lots are the following:
- large homes on small lots
- no rain gardens or boulevards to take in water run off
- parking issues
- over crowding
- congestion on roads not designed for higher volumes of traffic
- loss of green corridors
In the picture below four homes have replaced one home on a single residential lot. There is no provision made for a boulevard or rain garden to take in water or snow run off. Oils and pollutants from hard surface areas such as roofs and driveways enter the municipal drainage system and puts more wear and tear on pipes, therefore requiring more taxpayer money for their eventual replacement.
Furthermore, unlike most cities, Nanaimo has no regulations which require landscaping of properties. Areas designated for lawn often turn into extra parking spaces as each home has an average of three or four vehicles.
Studies have shown that planted areas remove more stormwater pollutants through absorption and filtration. Green boulevards and rain garden systems are excellent ways to remove heavy metals. Why doesn’t Nanaimo encourage this type of development?
Heat pollution from urban deforestation and lack of vegetation devalues neighbourhoods. Ground water tables are not properly recharged and lead to settling and in some areas land slides or sink holes. The argument that we must increase our density appears to be only falling on residential neighbourhoods.
Also, scheduled for Thursday’s rezoning meeting will be the expansion of the Brooks Landing Shopping Mall and subdivision of the large heritage properties of Departure Bay.