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No public hearing for proposed zoning changes in Columbia Shuswap

Amendments supporting secondary suites up for first reading at February board meeting
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The proposed bylaw amendments will affect the zoned areas of the CSRD shown on this map. (CSRD image0

Proposed bylaw amendments to accommodate secondary dwelling units throughout the Columbia Shuswap Regional District are headed for first reading – with no public hearing to follow.

The amendments to zoning bylaws for Anglemont, the South Shuswap, Ranchero-Deep Creek, Magna Bay, Kault Hill, Salmon Valley and electoral areas E and B, are to permit secondary dwelling units in most residential and rural zones that currently permit single-detached dwellings, and will also increase the allowable floor area and height of accessory buildings in most zones.

A public notice shared on the regional district’s website, says these amendments will be up for first reading at the Feb. 15 CSRD board meeting.

The CSRD is currently accepting written submissions from the public on the amendments, and will continue to do so until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. However, that information will not be considered as part of a public hearing as, due to recent changes in provincial legislation, the CSRD is unable to hold one.

The amended section 464 of the Local Government Act now states there are two circumstances when a public hearing cannot be held by a local government: when a proposed zoning bylaw permits residential development that is consistent with an existing official community plan, and when a proposed bylaw relates to small-scale multi-family housing developments. As the proposed amendments are in compliance with the new provincial requirements, a public hearing is not required. However, notice of the proposed amendments must be advertised, advising a hearing will not be held, and giving the opportunity to provide comment about the bylaw amendment. The CSRD said notice must be published at least 10 days prior to board consideration of first reading, and again at least 10 days prior to board consideration of third reading of the bylaws.

The proposed zoning amendments follow the completion of housing needs assessments conducted in all the CSRD’s electoral areas. Through these assessments, common threads identified were a lack of affordable housing and a need for additional types of housing to better serve residents.

“Currently, rental accommodation is scarce and unaffordable, while home ownership is also financially out of reach for many people,” noted the CSRD on a webpage dedicated to the proposed zoning amendments. “In some areas, notably B, C, E, F and G where there is a tourist economy, there is a higher proportion of seasonal dwellings, and tension between demand for permanent and temporary accommodation.

“One way the CSRD is working to improve housing options is to modify current zoning rules to permit Secondary Dwelling Units in all areas with zoning bylaws.”

For more information about the proposed amendments, visit csrd.civilspace.io. Written submissions can be emailed to plan@csrd.bc.ca, or dropped off at the CSRD’s office at 555 Harbourfront Drive NE in Salmon Arm. The CSRD asks that submissions include the following: “Bylaw Amendment Submission – Secondary Dwelling Units” or “Bylaw Amendment Submission – Accessory Building Size.”

Read more: Secondary dwelling units up to 140 square metres proposed for Columbia-Shuswap electoral areas

Read more: CSRD board looks at adding housing capacity in Shuswap electoral areas