Tuesday, March 10, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 10 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week

“Usually if a cougar comes to town, there’s something wrong with them. Usually they don’t want anything to do with us.”

- John Clarke  
- on cougar safety   

 

 
After long delays and disagreement over details and definitions, the secondary suite bylaw returned to council on Tuesday, March 3. With a bit of discussion and a few tweaks, the bylaw was passed, making secondary suites a regulated reality in the Pass.
A secondary suite is essentially a living space, either attached or detached, beyond the primary living space on a property, which is rented out to a tenant. The new standards set by council apply to all existing secondary suites in the community, and the owners of those suites will be required to comply.
As council re-opened the discussion prior to making a decision, Councillor David Cole said that the bylaw must have some way to limit the number of people living in a secondary suite. He suggested that the limit could be set at two adults and two children under the age of 18.
“There has to be a ceiling somewhere in there,” said Councillor Cole.
Mayor John Irwin argued that a family should not have to leave their dwelling if they have a third child. He suggested limiting the number of vehicles tenants could have instead of the number of people, since parking could be a concern with too many people.
Councillor Gary Taje said that the size of the property a secondary suite is on naturally limits the number of people who can live there and the number of vehicles. He noted that any property with a secondary suite needs to have sufficient off-street parking.
He suggested limiting the number of people based on the size of the secondary suite, such as requiring 150 square feet per person.
 
Councillor Cole agreed, and this provision was amended into the bylaw.
Councillor Larry Mitchell said that he would not support the bylaw because some residents bought their properties on the assumption that their neighbourhood would only include single family dwellings. Allowing secondary suites could change the density of any given neighbourhood.
Councillor Taje noted that the bylaw makes secondary suites a discretionary use. This means that anyone wishing to create a secondary suite must apply to the municipality. At this point, according to the bylaw, anyone living within 100 metres of the property would be notified of the application. People with concerns could attend the Subdivision and Development board meeting to contest the application.
“This is something we really don’t have a choice on,” he said, adding that people are already renting out secondary suites, and that council needs to regulate this practice to ensure tenants are safe.
The bylaw passed by a 5-1 vote, Councillor Mitchell opposed.
Anyone creating or renting out a secondary suite on their property must apply to the Subdivision and Development Authority, obtain a building permit and inspection, and meet off-street parking requirements. The floor area of the suite cannot exceed 40 percent of the principal building’s floor area, and the area must be 150 square feet per person living in it. Full utilities must be provided and the front exterior of the principal building should continue to appear as a single family unit.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 10 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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