McGuire Road residents are hoping council says no tonight to a change to the Official Community Plan that could potentially increase their neighbourhood by nine homes.
Thirteen out of the 18 property owners in the area have expressed opposition to a proposal to create a new rural category permitting lots one hectare in size.
The neighbourhood, near the city's northwestern boundary, is currently designated as Rural B in the OCP. This allows for lots with an area of two hectares.
Gerard and Anne Schroeder have applied to subdivide their lot into two one-hectare parcels. An existing OCP category (Rural C) allows for high-density parcels of 0.4 hectares.
"The department believes this lot size does not reflect the rural form and character of the McGuire Road area," said a report from planner Mandy Stanker.
Staff instead came up with a new category, known as Rural D, to fill "the current gap in the OCP."
The planning department is also recommending applying this change to all the area properties, since there are already 10 which are smaller than two hectares due to an old zoning bylaw.
A new rural zoning category is also being suggested to correspond to the new OCP designation. The rezoning would only apply to the applicant's property, but would be available for others to apply for in the future.
According to Stanker's report, future rezoning of the eight properties larger than two hectares could result in the "creation of nine additional lots along McGuire Road."
A petition from neighbours cites negative impacts such as the loss of the rural community's character, potential strain on the aquifer due to increased water demands and increases in noise and traffic.
In a letter to mayor and council, residents Bret and Cristina Hutchinson said they understand the rationale and that creating a transitional designation between rural and suburban areas is reasonable, but that McGuire Road isn't the right place for it.
They said the existing one-hectare properties along the road already out of place for a rural lifestyle, as they are "almost entirely void of trees in order to allow for any development," and that they "should remain an anomaly in our rural community."
Council will consider third reading on the application after a public hearing at 7 p.m. in council chambers.