Council passes temporary use permit amendment

On Tuesday, Jan. 8, town council passed an amendment to zoning bylaw 1423 to allow for temporary use permits.

Temporary use permits are not currently allowed under the existing zoning bylaw, according to Phil Armstrong, the manager of development services for the Town of Golden.

A temporary use permit is a permit that can be applied for to temporarily allow a use for a property that’s not currently allowed in whatever zone that property is located in. For example, a temporary use permit can be applied for opening a fitness centre in an industrial zone, when typically that would be zoned elsewhere.

The original bylaw assigns different zones to areas across town, allocating different spaces for industrial, residential and commercial development, to name a few. The rigid zones don’t allow for flexibility in allowing cross over between zones, which this amendment will facilitate. Instead of going through a several months long rezoning process, a temporary use permit expedites the process, allowing businesses more opportunity for growth in Golden.

The bylaw will allow for temporary use permits in the M2 Industrial zone and the I1 community utility and service zones.

“Temporary use permits are a great tool,” said Armstrong. “Usually you want to make land use decisions by planning into the future, but now there’s an opportunity to utilize temporary use permits for when we want to test something out.”

Temporary use permits have become more popular across B.C. lately, allowing for things like work camps to temporarily pop up for short term projects. The permits are also good for businesses in transition. For example, a business that is considering building a new facility after outgrowing their old one can apply for a temporary use permit to house their business while they explore other avenues.

“The intent here is to try out new things,” said Armstrong. “It’s to help facilitate businesses being a little more nimble and trying out different things.”

In order to apply for a temporary use permit, an application must be filled out and discussed with a member of staff from the town. From there, the permit goes to council for consideration, where it then goes out for notification and advertising, before coming back to council for approval.

The entire process takes between four to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the application, with a two meeting process. This is significantly quicker than applying for a rezoning motion, which can take three to four meetings and several months to process.

“When something is temporary in nature, but you want to have something else on that property in the future, this is quicker to implement, rather than going through the full rezoning process,” said Armstrong.

A series of conditions will apply to issuance of a temporary use permit. In order to receive a permit, the temporary use of that zone must be temporary in nature, with a letter of intent outlining a plan to terminate the use prior to the expiration of the permit. The temporary use must operate at an intensity of use suitable to the surrounding zone and must be compatible to the other surrounding land uses.

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