“This is the update to the zoning bylaw we’ve been working on for quite some time,” Dean Strachan the city’s manager of development services, told council. “We’re finally bringing it forward to council in its first blocks.”
Council got a look at the revisions to the city’s residential zones, but, as Strachan explained, the update is about cleaning up the bylaw rather than making significant changes to allowable uses.
“We’re hoping with this update to have simplified, easier to understand language and regulation structure, but also similar compared to what other communities have, so it’s recognizable for people from outside the community coming to develop here,” he said. “There isn’t a proposal for wholesale change in use or a dramatic change in structure of the bylaw in terms of what it does. It’s how it’s worded, how it’s laid out.”
What it means is the revised bylaw is shorter and, hopefully, easier to understand. Residents will have a chance to give feedback at a future public hearing.
Mayor Mark McKee asked about making changes to alleviate the city’s rental housing crisis by making it easier for people to build secondary suites or carriage homes.
“Any opportunities where we can make it easier for residents with either new builds or existing builds to create more affordable rental properties, we should be encouraging that,” he said.
Strachan responded by saying that should be part of a separate bylaw process.
“We would put together a report that’s independent of the zoning bylaw review process specifically on that topic,” he said. “There’s more than just the zoning bylaw involved with it.”
He said he will be bringing forward the updates to the bylaw in blocks and hopes to have the update completed by the spring.