July 19, 2013 - 10:20 AM
KAMLOOPS – Impassioned pleas from neighbours led council to a split vote in June and a decision was made to wait for Coun. Marg Spina to return with the tie-breaking vote at the next meeting. Some of those neighbours were again in council chambers when the vote to not allow a variance for a carport in Rayleigh was made this week.
Spina had few questions of staff but was wondering whether an assessment had been done on the property to ensure the concerns over fire hazards were valid. She was reassured by staff an inspection of the site did not turn up anything that would be considered an issue.
She also questioned whether there was an impact to neighbouring properties. While city development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski said there was no impact on neighbours, Spina still chose to side against the carport.
Neighbour Leona Ketsa, who spoke to council against both the carport and the garage (which was already approved) at the last meeting, said afterward she was relieved the structure would have to come down. She says the structure was not built properly and is without the proper supports.
Ketsa was most upset with the fact her neighbour did not follow the rules in the first place and while Brad Silbernagel told council his neighbours had a “hate on” for him and he simply was not aware an open structure such as his carport would require permits his neighbours and some councillors did not fully believe this.
Whether they believed his story or not was not the question though. The carport came before council because it is too close to the road at a 2.9 metres setback instead of the required six metres.
Mayor Peter Milobar and councillors Nancy Bepple and Donovan Cavers agreed with staff that the carport does not impact sight lines and therefore is not an issue. The rest of the councillors felt the setback was in place for a reason and there was nothing about Silbernagel's situation to warrant a variance.
Coun. Nelly Dever said she stands by her original action to not support the carport.
“When we offer variances it's usually due to hardships, blended families, awkward lots. This is not a hardship. This is not going to improve the home in any way, shape or form.... We do understand the owner likes to collect things.” Dever said in speaking against the variance.
Coun. Tina Lange agreed, noting she thought the carport would simply encourage Silbernagel to collect more stuff.
“It's not a hardship for him. We have rules. There's a reason for setbacks,” she added.
The variance was denied and the carport at 135 Helmcken Drive will now have to be removed.
To contact a reporter for this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013