Council gave third reading to a bylaw Monday which will change the minimum parcel size RR1 land can be subdivided into, but may face law suits from some of the land owners affected by the change.
The bylaw, introduced at a council meeting Feb. 3 and opposed by several land owners at a public hearing Feb. 17, will change the minimum parcel size for subdivision of RR1 land from 20 acres to 100 acres. The rationale for the bylaw, according to municipal staff, is to prevent urban sprawl and to protect the environment.
A report to council from municipal staff suggested there are 24 privately owned parcels of RR1 land that could currently be subdivided, potentially creating an additional 148 parcels. If the minimum parcel size is increased to 100 acres the potential additional parcels is reduced to 13.
Councillor Kristi Wells voted against the bylaw on the grounds that more notice should have been given to all land owners affected by the change.
"My problem is with the way council has moved with this. I have no problem with the goals," Wells said. "I’m concerned it’s being rushed through."
Councillor Dave Kirk said the move may be difficult for those land owners affected, "but I feel this is the will of the community."
Councillor Ken Melamed, who read a written statement, said "RR1 (zoning) was not designed to create 20-acre estate lots."
Melamed said the move will not eliminate development but it will "remove the 20-acre gun to our heads."