by Tristan Turner
Council has passed First Reading of Land Use Bylaws 17/2015, 18/2015, 19/2015 and 20/2015. Bylaws 17/2015 and 18/2015 have been classified by the Town’s head of Planning and Development Greg Hofmann as “housekeeping amendments” to the Land Use Bylaw. Bylaw 17/2015 makes some changes to the Land Use Bylaw that modernize the law and keep it a “living document”, according to Hofmann. They will come back for discussion and debate at Council’s Nov. 10 meeting for second and potentially third reading.
One of the largest components in the text of the Bylaw 18/2015 would be changes to the subdivision process to make it more of an administrative concern. It would give new powers for Town administration to approve subdivision processes that are in line with the Land Use Bylaw.
Bylaw 19/2015 changes some of the language associated with the laws surrounding the Municipal Planning Commission and transfers some of their roles on to Administration in subdivision questions.
Bylaw 20/2015 would make changes to allow some homeowners in the Village Champlain area to add a second suite to their property with separate access. Unlike the other Bylaws, which passed first reading unanimously, the Bylaw was contested by Councillor Boutestein, who cited concerns about an increase to the density of the area. The Bylaw targets specific properties that Hofmann says will be able to accommodate new vehicles and traffic associated with the attendant increase in population density in the area. Hoffman said while the Bylaw allows certain properties to develop an additional suite; it does not require it, only that owners would be permitted to do so.
These Bylaws will return for second and potentially 3rd reading on November 10th following public hearings on each of the Bylaws at Council’s regular meeting.