By Marianne Curtis
Over a dozen homeowners in Landmark are furious with the RM of Tache council after it was recently discovered their properties had been rezoned allegedly without their knowledge. While the rezoning itself raised questions, residents are further outraged to discover the change may have compromised their homeowners insurance coverage.
At a recent RM of Tache council meeting, councillors hear from a number of Landmark residents who own land along the community’s Main Street.
Dave Sutherland, spokesperson for the group explained.
“We discovered all our homes have been rezoned,” stated Sutherland. “I wasn’t worried about it at first – I understand its part of planning for the future – but then I found it was commercial then we had a problem.”
According to Sutherland, residences are not allowed to be constructed on commercial property based on the planning act.
“You cannot have a house on a commercial property and when I asked my insurer if I’d be able to rebuild my house if it burns, I was told no,” stated Sutherland, who is insured with Wawanesa Insurance. “It would be like my policy did not exist.”
His next door neighbour Ellie Chappellez also produced an email from Red River Mutual which states they “reserve the right to revoke the actual cash value settlement if you cannot rebuild.”
The residents were also upset about the inconsistencies in the zoning change. A total of eighteen properties along Main Street Landmark have been rezoned from residential to commercial, except for a small pocket at the north end, exactly where RM of Tache councilor Bob Koop lives.
RM of Tache councillor Ross Deschambault defended councils planned practices.
“Those that asked to be excluded from the zoning plan changes were excluded,” stated Deschambault. “There are issues that no one is aware of when we looked at planning; we did what we felt would benefit the community in the future.”
At the recommendation of council, the matter was reverted back to the LUD of Landmark. At a meeting that took place on March 1, the LUD of Landmark decided that they would leave it up to individual homeowners to request the zoning change.
RM of Tache administrator Dan Poersch confirmed that when the RM of Tache adopted their development plan in 2009, both sides of Main Street were redesignated to commercial.
“The LUD made a recommendation to council that would take into account the owners interests; it will be up to the individual homeowner to decide if they want their properties reverted back to residential,” stated Poersch. “In this case, the LUD has recommended that the municipality waive all costs associated with the change but it still has to be discussed by council first.”
Hettie and Leonard Penner are among over a dozen Landmark residents upset with the RM of Tache for rezoning Main Street Landmark as commercial and possibly compromising their homeowners insurance in the process. The map on the left is the most current map approved by the RM of Tache in 2009.