Golden zoning bylaw takes another step forward

A zoning bylaw that recently came under some criticism was given a third reading in the Town of Golden Council meeting.

A zoning bylaw that recently came under some criticism was given a third reading in the Town of Golden Council meeting on July 25.

Gary Smith is the Manager of Development Services/Planner for the Town of Golden who gave a presentation to council about the bylaw.

“The existing bylaw is a patchwork of over 74 amendments reflecting much of the planning practice though of in the 60s and 70s,” Smith said. “It is not a good document at this point and time or current for implementing the OCP (Official Community Plan) policies.”

Smith said the new bylaw would not only update the existing zoning bylaw but would also provide “a dynamic base and can be amended to accommodate specific developments and standards.”

In the staff report it states, “Staff has reviewed the input received during the Public Hearing and met with the individual presenters resulting in recommended changes to the draft bylaw as outlined in the appendices that do not impact land-use or density.”

At a previous council meeting members of the gallery questioned how the new regulations would affect costs of new business structures to be built in Golden in the future.

Questions were raised about changes which were being proposed  which may cause redundancy on rule changes between integrated secondary suites and secondary class dwellings.

Other issues brought up at the meeting varied from a concern of having commercial zones backing up onto residential sites and questions over where the benefit was to changing the zoning designation to certain areas.

Smith said some of the changes were acted on but others could not be changed unless there were amendments made to the OCP the changes in the bylaw would not be valid.

Coun. Ron Oszust asked Smith if home-based businesses could be affected by the potential changes to zones in Golden.

He wanted to make sure home-based businesses that are currently operating would still be permitted to operate in the new zones.

Smith said they would be able to stay open and the rules would be grandfathered in

Coun. Caleb Moss clarified that with an OCP review coming, any major decisions made in the OCP which could effect the proposed bylaw would then lead council back to updating the bylaw in the future. Smith explained the whole idea of the bylaw is to put in a good base which staff and council can work from.

Mayor Christina Benty stepped in and explained that at the end of the day, “The OCP trumps everything.”

Oszust questioned the changes to parking requirement in specific zones especially on 9th Street North.

“I still struggle with this one. It is too late in the game to doing that and implementing a change in that nature. Eighty-five to ninety per cent of the land  in that area has been developed and to put that added burden onto those existing property owners I think is inappropriate,” Oszust said.

Smith responded to this point and said, “All developments within municipal boundaries have very defined access points.

“So you do not have continuous intersections along one strip. So you have about 150 parking spots that pour on to the road service which is a complete danger and is no longer supported by any developments.”

He went on and explained higher speeds on the street in question has also made it more dangerous.

The council eventually voted to move to the third reading of the document with the changes suggested by staff.