The Zoning Bylaw workshop at last Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting resulted in three recommendations. These recommendations will be taken to Council for approval at the February 1st meeting.
The first was remove residential hen farming in the R2 Zone from the draft Zoning Bylaw. The second was to remove Secondary Suites as a permitted use in the R1 Zone (Single Family Residential) of the draft bylaw, but that these suites be permitted in both existing R1-S and all future single family subdivisions. Finally, it was recommended that council remove the Mobile Home Park that was proposed on Golden Donald Upper Road near Pine Dr.
The purpose of the workshop was for council to make some critical decisions so the zoning team can prepare a revised Zoning Bylaw that is reflective of public feedback, current council thinking and other research.
Jon Wilsgard, Manager of Corporate Administrations for the Town of Golden, explained that the public process on the hen farming issue was very divided and that it’s “not worth pushing forward at the expense of many other very important issues.”
The initial public feedback resulted in 55 per cent per cent in support and 45 per cent against the possibility of allowing urban hen farming. Those in support saw it is a positive step towards food security and decreasing our carbon footprint, amongst a list of other things. Those against the proposal worried that it might bring even more wildlife to the community and that the Town might not have the resources to actually enforce the bylaw.
“We’ve decided to remain silent on the issue for this Zoning Bylaw,” said Wilsgard. “If we decide to revisit it at a later date, it would probably be a better fit under the Animal Control Bylaw.”
As for removing the possibility of secondary suites in the R1 Zone (Pine Drive, Riverglen and Selkirk Heights), council found that there was, again, significant controversy for and against the proposal. Those against allowing secondary suites (66 per cent in the initial feedback process) were concerned about things like neighbourhood traffic, parking, nature of renters, their neighbourhood character and identity.
But, with the recommendation comes another subsequent recommendation that Secondary Suites be permitted in both existing R1-S (newly proposed zone, having the attributes of R1 but permitting suites) and all future single family subdivisions.
“The council is still very cognizant of the value of secondary suites,” said Wilsgard.
The proposed Mobile Home Park on Golden Donald Upper Road is recommended to be removed from the draft bylaw for similar reasons to the first two issues. There was significant opposition to the Mobile Home Park Zone and the Town thought it was not worth pushing forward on the issue at this time.
The Town of Golden will be looking for public input in the next couple of weeks before the bylaw goes through further readings.
The reason to rewrite the zoning bylaw, according to the Town’s zoning team, is to provide consistency between the policies in the Official Community Plan and zoning regulations, to update regulations to reflect best land use practices and to make zoning provisions easier to use and understand.
The last time it was rewritten was 17 years ago