Resident, conservation society oppose lot plan
A residential lot proposed off Fish Lake Road could have a detrimental effect on local wildlife and green space, say at least two people
Photo by Vince Fedoroff
PRESERVATION OF GREENERY SOUGHT – Rosh Govindasamy is seen Thursday by the proposed development across from Raven’s Ridge Thursday. Some trees in the area may have to be removed to allow power into the site should the development proposal proceed. Numerous eagles and ravens hunt in the area.
A residential lot proposed off Fish Lake Road could have a detrimental effect on local wildlife and green space, say at least two people. They plan to voice their concerns at Monday evening’s city council meeting.
Erik Nyland of Raven’s Ridge Developments is applying to have the 2.3-hectare property rezoned from Future Development to Country Residential 1 to build a home and a secondary structure on the site.
Council passed first reading of the rezoning earlier this month, prompting a public hearing at next Monday’s council meeting.
There, anyone can address council on the project. A report on the hearing will then come to council prior to second and third readings coming forward.
Nearby Raven’s Ridge resident Rosh Govindasamy and Christina McDonald, the Yukon Conservation Society’s wildlife co-ordinator, said in separate interviews they will be there on Monday night. They intend to let council know of the detrimental impacts they see the rezoning creating.
“It’s all about preserving green space,” Govindasamy said Thursday.
Just because Nyland owns the property doesn’t mean he can do with it whatever he wishes, she argued.
She and McDonald both pointed to the access road leading to the property through what’s designated as park space in the Official Community Plan.
“We haven’t had that conversation yet,” Govindasamy said of the community on the impacts of a road running through identified parkland.
A power line would also be put in place from the Raven’s Ridge neighbourhood, across McIntyre Creek and up a steep cliff leading to the property.
That has the conservation society and Govindasamy worried about the local bird population.
Eagles and ravens are at home in the area, and Govindasamy fears them flying into the power line.
Also, she pointed out, the trees the birds use for nesting could be ripped out of the ground to make way for the power lines.
There could also be technical issues with running a power line up such a steep cliff, Govindasamy added.
While Nyland has indicated the power line would be put in during the winter to lessen the impacts, there still has to be consideration given to what the impacts will be, McDonald said.
She and Govindasamy were quick to note the area is also a wildlife corridor. It serves everything from small animals like otters and coyotes to large mammals like bears and moose which travel through the area.
And if this rezoning is approved, they questioned, what’s to stop the city from permitting further development in the area?
While Govindasamy is worried council members have already made up their minds in support of the development, she plans to voice her concerns Monday night in the hopes they won’t move forward with the rezoning.
McDonald said the conservation society will also be on-hand to make a presentation.
When council passed first reading of the rezoning, Councillors Betty Irwin and Florence Roberts expressed concerns over the ramifications the development could have on McIntyre Creek, with power lines set to go over the waterway.
They stated they want more details on the project prior to the vote on the final two readings.
Coun. Ranj Pillai also noted the importance of considering the impact of the rezoning.
Council was unanimously in favour of first reading of the bylaw, though as Pillai noted, first reading will get the process started.
See more on Raven’s Ridge development plans.