Linley Valley Hidden Ridge Petition; Carriage and Micro homes

Crowds lined up Thursday night for the Linley Valley Open House regarding a new housing development on Tanya Drive in north Nanaimo, just off Lost Lake Road.

A Victoria developer has applied to amend Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan, and remove 72 acres from the Urban Land Reserve. This forested and wetland habitat spans the north ridge of Linley Valley and borders Linley Valley-Cottle Lake Park.

The dark blue area shows shows the 72 acres to be developed.

72 acre Tanya Drive Development in Nanaimo in dark blue

The concept plan includes 190 new single-family homes, plus an unspecified number of multi-family homes at 5260, 5280 and 5300 Tanya Drive.

The developer has applied to:

  1. amend the Official Community Plan
  2. remove the land from the Urban Reserve
  3. have it rezoned for a steep slope subdivision

Below are the plans for the housing development. The red dot is Lost Lake.

190 homes proposed for the Tanya Drive Development in Nanaimo

Linley Valley Petition

A petition has been started asking that the City protect Hidden Ridge from development and add it to the existing Linley Valley-Cottle Lake Park.

see petition:

There are concerns that this development would:

  1. Destroy an ecological gem and irreparably damage the ecosystem of the entire Linley Valley, which is home to many at risk species.
  2. Devastate sensitive wetlands and downstream water systems, which are critical habitat for migrating birds, beavers and many other plants and animals.
  3. Severely diminish the cultural and recreational value of the forest that Nanaimo has assembled to create the Linley Valley-Cottle Lake Park.
  4. Massively increase the daily traffic on Lost Lake Road.
  5. Dangerously increase the fire risk in this urban/forest interface which is outside the six-minute fire response area.
  6. Require expensive and extensive utility installation and service upgrades.

The red zone shows the area for development. It will cut off Lost Lake from the Linley Valley trail network.

Trail Network to be lost in the Tanya Drive Development

Below is a view of the proposed development area.

View of Linley Valley Tanya Drive Development area

Nanaimo by-election

Where do the 13 Nanaimo by-election candidates stand on this development in Linley Valley? One candidate has already jumped in with two feet.

Carriage homes and Micro homes

At the this week’s Nanaimo Council COW (Committee of the Whole) meeting Councillor Fuller brought forward a motion to review infill housing design guidelines for carriage and micro homes.

Council discussion:

Fuller: …Micro housing [tiny homes of 250 square feet] is getting popular…The last application for a carriage house was voted down…it would’ve been fine if was smaller…Why not have two micro homes instead of one? …A review of the guidelines for infill will allow us to get more affordable housing…

Hong: …I can’t support the last point…we can’t stop people from getting development permits…

Staff: …we wouldn’t stop people…they could bring applications forward anyway…

Bestwick: …consultation with neighbourhood associations…could be a burden for the applicant…

Fuller: …the redesign of the infill would be in consultation with the neighbourhood associations…new guidelines may reduce the number of applications…

Mckay: …so people would go to the neighbourhood associations first?…

Fuller: …we are going to try to redesign the whole small lot development infill guidelines…so we get feedback from the neighbourhood associations…what they want to see…infill impacts neighbourhoods…

Council voted unanimously in favour of Fuller’s motion.

Tiny Homes and Neighbourhood War Zones

In Vancouver a couple had a custom built tiny home and parked it in a friend’s backyard.  After several months, they were told they could not park there after a neighbour complained.

It all comes down to conflict with neighbours. Small lot developments with micro houses or mega houses with many multi-units leads to over crowding and complaints.

Is the City prepared to spend more money on policing and bylaw services to deal with infill housing issues? More people on smaller lots will result in more conflicts with neighbours. People will complain about parking, roaming cats, barking dogs, loud music, burning garbage in fire pits, stinking garbage left outside, marijuana smoke, loud vacuums and on and on…

Disagreements between homeowners can turn entire neighbourhoods into war zones. A good example is the infill that’s happening on Hammond Bay Road.