Secondary suite bylaw supported in Hope

Council gives third reading to an amendment bylaw that would permit rental suites

Hope is one step closer to having a new residential zone legalizing secondary suites.

Council gave third reading, voting 4-2 in favour, to an amendment bylaw on Monday night that would permit single family residential and secondary suite use on the same parcel of land. However, the bylaw would limit the maximum suite area to 90 square meters (968 square feet) or 40 per cent of the dwelling floor area, whichever is less. There would also be a minimum room height of two metres, fire separation required between the suite and the remainder of the house, and no more than one secondary suite per lot.

Coun. Ron Smith said the council tries to plan bylaws around the intent of the Official Community Plan and sees the need for diversification. Coun. Donna Kropp noted the amendment bylaw would also set a precedent for future development standards.

“It’s OK to change some of the vision of where we’re going,” she added.

Coun. Scott Medlock acknowledged that while secondary suites don’t fit in every neighbourhood, the proposed zoning bylaw would allow the district to enforce some restrictions in the future. Coun. Peter Robb also voiced his support for the new zone. He pointed out that secondary suites not only help young couples afford a mortgage, but also allow elderly people on fixed incomes to stay in their homes longer.

Both Coun. Gerry Dyble and Coun. Tim Hudie voted against the bylaw amendment, citing concerns over the issue of “spot zoning.” They feel the district needs to look at high density in specific areas and consider the reasons why people move into certain neighborhoods.

Council’s vote followed a public hearing on the rezoning of 21446 Lakeview Cres. from single family residential to single family residential with a secondary suite.

Several residents raised concerns about increased traffic and side road parking, as well as the potential for other existing properties in the neighborhood to follow suit if the rezoning bylaw was approved. Michelle Richardson also questioned the need for higher density in Hope, pointing out that the community already offers plenty of affordable housing options. Other residents voiced their support for the bylaw amendment, arguing that the property at 21446 Lakeview Cres. is ideal for a secondary suite since it’s situated between two streets.

The amendment bylaw now requires the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to give final approval before it can be adopted by council.