New guidelines coming for West Quesnel Landslide Area

Quesnel council is looking to allow hazard area development permits in certain areas

As the City of Quesnel gets ready to go through the process of reviewing and updating its Official Community Plan (OCP), city councillors are excited about a change coming forward for the West Quesnel Landslide Area.

With the West Quesnel Landslide Area (WQLSA), there are new guidelines coming out for hazard area development permits, Coun. Scott Elliott explained as he presented a report from the City’s Policy and Bylaw Committee during the Oct. 29 council meeting.

“If the building inspector sees no visible signs of movements, repairs or renovations may take place on the original footage, so there’s some big changes coming up here, which I think a lot of the individuals on the west will be excited to hear,” he said. “Accessory buildings will be enabled, so long as there are no people living in them. Manufactured homes may be enabled, but there will be standards on that — no ancient single-wides, so double-wides and things that are newer, but there’s more discussion to happen there.”

Elliott says if the building inspector sees any issues with movement on the property, geotechnical engineering will be required

“All properties within the slide area will require a covenant if the building inspector has found any issues,” he added.

Mayor Bob Simpson describes the upcoming changes as “a very significant shift for West Quesnel and a real opportunity for us to engage with the landowners in West Quesnel in beginning to see re-investment over there and hopefully an increase in assessments.”

“There are some areas where we’re going to have to be very careful,” he said. “Our building inspector is comfortable that we’re setting ourselves up that where it doesn’t make sense, it won’t happen, but where it can happen, it will. I think that should give some heart to the folks over in West Quesnel who own property and who own land that because of the investments we’ve made over there, we do have the ability to see some re-investment on that side of our community. I think for all of our property owners, if the assessments start to come up there, they should see some relief and things will start re-balancing the assessment scale in the community, which is unbalanced right now, so I’m looking forward to digging in on that and seeing that go into our OCP and our Zoning Bylaw.”

Elliott says there will be an effort to streamline the communications of this initiative, which will include providing diagrams and information downstairs at City Hall that property owners can look through.

A draft OCP was expected to go to council for review on Nov. 5. The draft is expected to be out for consultation until Nov. 22, and there will be a community consultation and open house Nov. 21.

READ MORE: City Council makes decision on problematic West Quesnel property

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