It was the second council meeting this year to draw more than 30 delegations speaking on the issue of home sizes on Richmond’s agricultural land reserve. This time, however, the discussion went past midnight. …
Previously, city staff had recommended 12 options for maximum farm house sizes to councillors, ranging from 5,382 to 10,764 sq. ft. After Monday night’s discussion, all councillors voted to strike down city staff’s Option 5A, which was previously supported at last week’s general purposes committee meeting. This option would have kept the square footage the same, but would have reduced the home plate, forcing larger homes to increase the number of floors they had.
After this, Coun. Harold Steves put forward a motion to adopt staff’s Option 1, which would limit home sizes to 5,382 square feet. The motion was defeated, however, with Couns. Carol Day, Steves and Mayor Brodie the only three in support of it.
Council moved on to vote on the matter of a secondary dwelling which passed, with the same three opposed.
Before the votes, Mayor Malcolm Brodie spoke passionately about why he believed reducing home sizes was important.
“If anyone thinks that the whole quality of the agricultural land reserve isn’t being fundamentally changed by what is going on the residential side of it, if you think it’s not changing, then I think you’re from another planet,” Brodie said.
“I think this is a serious mistake. Our role is to do what is best in the interest of all the residents and businesses here in Richmond…if we don’t improve the situation as has been mentioned, I think we are doing a terrible disservice to the city of Richmond.
“We’ll come back here in a few years and there will be these estate houses everywhere. And that will be the end of it.” …