Several neighbours voiced their opinions at a public hearing about a rezoning application at a property with a history of problem tenants, Monday at Courtenay council. The applicant, Amandio Santos, is proposing a two-lot subdivision at 2310 20th St. A zoning amendment would permit a secondary suite on each lot.
“Apparently, there’s been a real drug problem,” said Lambert Drive resident Bill Eliason, noting a single mother has “gone through hell” because of the language and noise coming from next door.
Fellow Lambert resident Robin Fitzgerald, who had a “rude awakening” after moving to the neighbourhood from the country, worries about subletting.
“We have a right to the enjoyment of our property,” she said. “We have not had that, at all.”
“We’ve had lots of issues with people moving in and out of that house,” said Pam Munroe, who also lives on Lambert Drive. “I’m concerned that if the owner is allowed to subdivide and build two units with rentals in them, will he be the one that’s renting? Because he’s not the greatest landlord.”
Santos intends to renovate and sell the property as owner-occupied homes. The City says rezoning would restrict rental leasing and other means of having other tenants in the house. As per a housing agreement registered on title, council is able to control certain aspects, such as rents and ability to sell properties. They also have some say over who can occupy.
Eliason has heard Santos discuss his intentions at a neighbourhood meeting, but questions when any of it is going to happen.
“We have to depend on you folks here (council) to see that these things are carried out, and what is supposed to happen will happen,” he said.
Consulting engineer Hal Martyn spoke on behalf of Santos.
“The application has had a somewhat bumpy ride to arrive at this point in the process,” Martyn said. “The intent has always been to cease the rental tenancy of the house as soon as the zoning change was approved by council.”
He said Santos intends to subdivide the property, and either sell, or build and sell the lot. He has no interest in ongoing ownership for rental purposes.
Council’s next step is to consider third reading of the application.