Highlands is considering rezoning land for a 52-dwelling neighbourhood on Bear Mountain.
The subdivision would only be accessible through Bear Mountain Parkway in Langford, but the homes would be within Highlands borders.
The applicant, Tinney and Associates, has the OK for the development to attach to Langford sewers and Capital Regional District water.
Highlands council responded to the rezoning request with questions and a request for clarity from the applicant related to parking, B.C. Hydro and building schemes.
Council has also asked the applicant if it would be willing to consider smaller density.
Currently B.C. Hydro is not able to service the entire proposed subdivision and only has enough power for 30 dwellings, said Highlands administrator Chris Coates.
The project includes 40 single family homes, 10 cottage homes and one duplex, on 10 acres. If the project is approved, the applicant will donate $550,000 towards the proposed community hall.
“We talk about diversifying the tax base,” Coun. Karel Roessingh said. “If we go after income, we have to go after income. From what I’ve seen, residential doesn’t pay for itself.”
Roessingh said if Highlands wants to make more money from taxes, perhaps development should be more dense or add commercial business.
Coun. Ken Williams agreed said gaining more tax revenue could help pay for roads and that adding more residents may help draw volunteers for the fire department.
Coun. Marcie McLean supported the cottage-sized homes and said that would offer variety in housing for the district, but she found the lot sizes too small and argued the number of homes should be reduced.
“I know that what Highlanders value most is the peace and tranquility and the privacy,” McLean said.
Coun. Sigurd Johannesen, said another neighbourhood on Bear Mountain may help create a need for B.C. Transit to offer service up the mountain.
“There is no transit going up Bear Mountain,” Johannesen said.
The land was originally zoned for a religious retreat operated by a church.