This week I heard about the proposal for Zero lot lines going to public hearing, here’s a few comments.

I moved to Cochrane over 17+ years ago from Calgary.  I did this because I saw value in the land, the house and the community.  I’m worried that this ‘value’ is being steadily chipped away.

Since I moved to Cochrane Council has allowed the distance between houses shrink from 8 feet to 4.  I have seen the subdivisions where there are only sidewalks on only one side of the street and now there is a proposal to eliminate lot line setbacks. 

In ALL of these proposals builders emphasised giving customers ‘choice’ and/or saying ‘Calgary does it so why can’t we’.  While it might be true that Calgary allows these building practices, this point completely misses the point in my opinion.  Cochrane can do better and we ALL benefit in the long run when we ‘hold the line’ in adding value to our communities.  We all lose when we allow developers to walk away with short term profit while our property values are slowly eroded as we ‘race to the bottom’ regarding building practices.

There is also the continued building on areas on slopes, a practice that has resulted in multiple lawsuits against the town.  Instead of listening to science we allow developers to try and try again.  Ultimately the developer either wears council down or they just wait until a new council gets elected to try again.  The end result, we allow building to occur where no building should have occurred in the first place and our tax dollars get used to defend against law suits. 

Take away the slope reference and this pattern sounds an awful lot like the repeated Jones Estate development proposals doesn’t it.

I always try to not just complain about a problem but propose alternatives as well.  In this case though, the complaints are essentially the solution, ‘hold the line’ and reject this proposal.


Dan Cunin