The City of Quesnel is reviewing the bylaws that shape the future vision of how the community will be developed and what it could look like out to 2030, and there is one more chance for the public to provide feedback.
Quesnel council is reviewing the proposed Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning bylaws, and a public hearing for these bylaws is coming up Tuesday, Dec. 3.
During the Nov. 26 council meeting, Tanya Turner, the City’s director of development services, provided a summary of the input received at a recent open house to council. About 65 people attended the open house, which was held Nov. 21 at City Hall.
The open house featured information panels and maps regarding housing, zoning, economic development, the waterfront plan, climate action and the West Quesnel Land Stability Area (WQLSA).
In her report to council, Turner noted the main concerns individuals at the open house had regarding the new policies were with respect to allowing secondary suites, allowing mobile homes in the WQLSA, and requiring covenants on small building permits, such as closing in a garage.
Turner told council that an estimated seven people attended the open house due to secondary suites, and comments received were both in favour and in opposition. Some of those opposed stated they would prefer if secondary suites were owner-occupied.
Coun. Ron Paull asked if the City could embed a requirement that secondary suites would be owner-occupied because that would be a “game-changer” for him, but Turner said she has always recommended that the City cannot make that requirement because the OCP and Zoning bylaw are meant to regulate land use, not the people on the land.
The proposed changes to the Zoning Bylaw will allow secondary suites in all single detached homes in the city.
Coun. Scott Elliott is happy to see the City moving forward with secondary suites.
“People want more housing and need more housing,” he said. “It’s time to put this to bed.”
Turner also noted that concerns were expressed that allowing mobile homes in the WQLSA would decrease the property values of the area. She explained that “double wide” mobile homes start at 24 feet wide, and this has been set as the minimum width standard so that mobile homes look more like a standard home.
Coun. Martin Runge told council he feels the double-wide requirement solve a lot of the concerns around mobile homes.
With regards to covenants, Turner explained that “restrictive covenants to provide parameters on building in hazardous areas is a best practice” but the building inspector will use discretion in requiring restrictive covenants to be placed on title.
Council gave second reading to the amended proposed Official Community Plan bylaw and Zoning Bylaw Nov. 26.
Paull voted against the OCP bylaw, noting he could reluctantly live with secondary suites, but only with firm and enforceable guidelines that they must be owner-occupied.
A public hearing for the OCP and Zoning Bylaw will take place Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers.
To see copies of the OCP and Zoning Bylaw online, visit quesnel.ca/ocp-and-zoning.
One can also visit City Hall’s main reception area to view a hard copy of these bylaws and corresponding large printed maps also displayed in the reception area.
Public written submissions will continue to be accepted until the Dec. 3 public hearing adjourns. Email submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.