Taylor rezoning causes unrest among residents

Taylor residents addressed City Council regarding recent zoning bylaw changes.

Taylor residents rallied at City Council Tuesday to discuss the city’s decision to rezone parts of the region.

The goal for the rezoning, which was implemented last October, was for the city to better direct industrial traffic flow through the back of the town.

To allow for this plan, parts of Pine Avenue from the Alaska Highway to 98 Street were rezoned.

“The intent is to allow those trucks to come out on that side so it doesn’t divide our community where kids have to dash across this part of the road,” Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser told residents.

Jillian and Russell Fraser, who are long-time Taylor residents, were one of the many in attendance to discuss the impacts of the change on their property.

The Fraser’s are currently attempting to sell their property so they can build a bigger house outside of town. But when the sale of their residence was nearing completion the city rezoned their property to a commercial property, which impacted the sale drastically.

Jillian said that the down payment and interest rates on a commercial property are higher. As well, getting a mortgage on their newly rezoned property is a lot more difficult.

The rezoning by the city caused the Fraser’s deal to be put on hold. Their buyer says they’re willing to wait to see if the property can be rezoned but the matter is urgent for the Fraser’s; According to Russell, their mortgage is due in a few months and if the property isn’t sold they’ll have to renew.

“Only when we had a sale fall through did we really learn about the impacts of this change,” Jillian told council. “Legally speaking we can sell our properties but real-estate speaking we cannot sell our properties.”

“When our buyer discovered what he was going to have to do he thought, ‘how am I ever going to sell this place?’” Jillian told council.

Similar concerns were shared among other residents, who questioned why they weren’t properly notified of the change. The District released the change within their new letter as well as on their website but residents weren’t notified directly. That is something City Council said they plan to change.

Mayor Fraser says that he plans to rush the timeline on Jillian and Russell’s property due to their circumstances but he doesn’t know how long that will take. Council will have to go through provincial regulations for a change to be made and that can take quite a bit of time.

As for the other residents who were impacted, council said they plan on meeting with their staff so they can review the section of town that was impacted.

“This council has recognized that mistakes can be made,” Mayor Fraser told the impacted residents. “We’ll look at it and see what we can do.”

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