Westheath Expansion Delayed

Robert Thomas

With a 13 year average of 122 housing starts annually and only eight single dwelling lots available in Westheath the City would like to further develop. Unfortunately, developing has been shelved at least until budget time.

Westheath is the new neighbourhood at the west end of South Hill.

Speaking about the proposal to spend $4.5 million to develop Westheath Phases Four and Five Councillor Brian Swanson managed to convince his Council colleagues to delay the development.

Coun Swanson spoke about the low number of housing starts this year, going on to claim there would be “less than 10 housing starts this year.”

“This report says there will be 102 housing starts this year, I don’t believe that.”

The consultant's report to Council gave population growth estimates based upon half a percent and one percent annually as part of its predictions. It also included historical data to formulate it’s predictions.

“I believe that’s very bad planning with a stagnant population stretching out our services.”

Coun Swanson said there was West Park, a private development which could offer lots if they’re needed.

“I prefer we leave this risk with a private developer,” he stated.

“We are going to take $4.5 million and sink it into the ground to create a bunch of lots.”

Councillor Dawn Luhning spoke about the ongoing development of the southwest corner of the city but an infrastructure bottleneck made vehicle access difficult.

“We keep expanding to the southwest and there is no plan to rid the city of the traffic problem at certain parts of the day,” Coun Luhning said.

“My biggest concern is we don’t have any plans to expand Thatcher up to South Hill.”

Coun Swanson made a motion to table the proposed expenditure until budget discussions. The motion passed 5 – 1 with Councillor Scott McMann opposed.