MELFORT — Melfort council has unanimously voted against bylaw changes that would further develop Creekside Community subdivision.
MI Developments Ltd. had asked the city to rezone a strip of land owned by the city along Reservoir Drive from municipal reserve to residential and then transfer ownership to them. With that land, it was asking the city to extend five lots that face Creekside Drive all the way back to Reservoir, then divide the result in half, resulting in 10 lots.
The motion was struck down on April 15.
Mayor Rick Lang said there were two main reasons the bylaw amendments failed.
“Number one, the bylaw as presented was to to sell the municipal reserve back to the developer at zero cost,” Lang said. “First of all, that’s not selling, that’s giving.”
The second reason was the possibility of a precedent.
“Councillor [Trent] Mitchell made a valid point when he said, ‘We had never sold, or given, municipal reserve back to anyone for any reason so that would be setting a precedent.’ As precedents go, when you make a move, it sets potential areas of the future, and council is always uncomfortable with setting a precedent when you don’t know what’s coming down the pipelines or could possibly come down the pipelines.”
This decision came after several months of discussions between council members, as well as residents of the community speaking against the proposal. Residents were concerned the smaller lots will affect the nature of the neighbourhood they brought into.
“The whole issue is to leave it the way it was. We were sold it on the way it was, it doesn’t have to change,” said Dwight Taylor, one of the Creekside residents in an interview with The East Central Recorder in March. “Change, we all feel, devalues our property.”
Creekside resident Lydia Steffen said she was happy with the decision council made.
“As a community, the Creekside Community is very happy with this decision from council.”