Some Beaconsfield homeowners who reside along the lake voiced their displeasure with zoning proposals targeting their neighbourhood during an informal consultation held with council earlier this week.
Beaconsfield is planning to update its general zoning rules and while most can be applied city wide, a handful target certain neighbourhoods. For instance, a new rule governs waterfront homes on Lakeshore Rd. and Beaconsfield Blvd and aims to protect part of the side setbacks of these particular homes in order to keep a view of the lake from the public roadway. The proposal applies to fencing, which must be opaque, as well as to the planting of hedges, sheds as well as detached garages on 15-foot side setback areas.
As well, the draft zoning also proposes to cut the maximum foot print for homes located south of Beaconsfield Boulevard to 25 per cent from 30 per cent in order to protect the character of this neighbourhood.
Elizabeth DiGinova, who battled in vain with council over plans for in-law suite extension at her Lakeshore Blvd. home last year, presented the city with an almost 50-name petition on Monday, objecting to the unfairness of the zoning proposals, which specifically only target their area.
“It should be our choice and not others what we put on our property,” she said, adding the city is pushing the envelope too far.
Another Lakeshore Blvd. resident, said the zoning restrictions which only target their home represent a slippery slope. “Where does it end? This is outright discrimination and is completely unfair,” the man said, who also lamented the fact owners of lakefront homes face hefty annual tax bills — some in the $30,000 range — due to high property valuations.
Shirley Baird, who also lives on Lakeshore Rd., wonders why a few other nearby streets, such as Gables Court and Thompson Point, will be exempt from the proposed zoning rule to protect the views of Lake St. Louis from the roadway. “I resent this bylaw,” she said.
At least one councillor voiced her objections to the specific zoning rules being proposed for some lakefront homes. “These restriction are in your face and are way too much,” said Rhonda Massad.
Council, which may still adjust some proposals that were drafted based on public feedback, is expected to adopt a notice of motion to proceed with the new zoning applications on Sept. 24. An official public consultation will then be held on Oct. 15, with final approval by council set for a week later.