Email your letter to (File photo)

Letter: Zoning amendment should be reconsidered

Former architect wants to see language that will ensure privacy, safety and security

Dear editor,

“The human right to adequate housing is more than just four walls and a roof. It is the right of every woman, man, youth and child to gain and sustain a safe and secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity,” says the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

On Nov. 26, Revelstoke City Council agreed to remove residential floor area requirements from the zoning bylaw.

READ MORE: Revelstoke City Council to remove minimum home sizes

The home building industry and government programs are keen to deliver housing smaller than the bylaw permits.

Currently, a studio apartment in Revelstoke must be larger than 430 square feet. By comparison one in a BC Housing project must be smaller than 350 square feet. This change is a positive step in Revelstoke’s campaign to address its affordable housing crisis.

Other changes were included in council’s decision with some unintended consequences.

The definition for dwelling unit was updated to embrace internationally accepted principles of diversity, inclusivity and non-discrimination, a laudable policy change.

However, important regulatory mechanisms were lost in the transition.

Specific zoning language authorizes municipalities to manage household size and security. The recent amendment removed language setting a limit of one kitchen per self-contained dwelling unit, enabling multiple kitchens and multiplying the number of potential occupants.

Municipalities can also stipulate the maximum number of unrelated persons in a dwelling unit.

Several communities including Kelowna do both: Revelstoke’s revised bylaw will do neither.

This recent revision to Revelstoke’s zoning bylaw raises serious questions. Do we value housing that provides a private, safe, secure place to live? Is freedom from overcrowded dwellings important for homes and neighbourhoods?

Yes, of course.

So let’s reconsider and reintroduce language into the zoning bylaw that mandates homes where household groups of reasonable size can live in peace and dignity.

-Eileen Fletcher, Revelstoke resident and retired architect (AIBC)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke City Hall to re-open June 1

Drop-in hours will be limited and appointments are available

Revelstoke Community Foundation giving $40,000 to charities

The funds are to help during the pandemic

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Two bears killed in Revelstoke so far this year

Society warns this year could be similar to 2016 when 26 bears were killed

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Most Read