City council was more divided than a Sahali neighbourhood about a proposed secondary suite that went to public hearing Tuesday night.
But in the end, council voted five to four against rezoning one house on Tinniswood Court to allow a basement suite.
Owners of 17 of the 22 homes on the street either wrote council directly objecting to the proposal or signed petitions.
Eleven of them spoke out at the public hearing, citing safety concerns for children and traffic on the narrow, sidewalkless street, or worries about renters coming into a strictly single-family home neighbourhood, or problems with finding adequate parking.
Applicant Jordan Lister, whose wife had given birth to their second child that morning, said the suite would allow his family to have some additional income.
They have also considered student boarders, but didn’t want to have to provide meals.
He still has that option, as no rezoning is required for boarders.
But for Mayor Peter Milobar and Coun. Nelly Dever, the fact that so many neighbours came out was a big determining factor.
A couple of other councillors such as Pat Wallace and Marg Spina noted the congested road is already a challenge for safety vehicles, especially in winter.
So did Coun. Ken Christian, who took exception to the suggestion made during the meeting that renters “create a second-class neighbourhood.”
On the other side were councillors Tina Lange and Nancy Bepple, who felt one more suite on the street wouldn’t make a noticeable difference, and Donovan Cavers and Arjun Singh, who said secondary suites are needed and make buying a house affordable.
One of the Tinniswood neighbours did note that it’s a tight-knit street with a few block parties every year and a tradition of all homeowners contributing to a welcome basket for new arrivals.
And despite the blanket disagreement between Lister and his neighbours, he was congratulated on his new family addition and there were comments exchanged that the public hearing wasn’t personal.