Many questions raised over proposed new zoning bylaw

Home based businesses and downtown concerns bring residents out to public hearing.

A public hearing dealing with the proposed zoning bylaw NO. 1294, 2011 was held on October 18 at the Town Office Council Chambers.

The purpose of the hearing was for Council to hear representations from members of the public who believe their interest in property or quality of life would be affected by the proposed bylaw.

Many people filled the council chamber to ask questions about possible effects of the potential bylaw.

Questions over what effect the new bylaw would have on home based businesses came up at various points on the evening. People seemed unclear about what would still be acceptable as a homed based business in certain zones in Golden.

“I currently run a Class 1 home based business from my property. I know a number of people who run class two businesses. Will their businesses be grandfathered in even though they live where the Class 2 businesses are no longer allowed?,” Sheelagh England asked.

The answer provided was that as long as the businesses have been running for longer than six months then they would be able to continue running their business at the present time.

England went on to comment about the short supply of daycare facilities in the Golden area.

Manager Development Services Gary Smith explained that daycare facilities in the R1 zones would not be permitted.

President of the Chamber of Commerce Jordan Petrovics came and spoke at the meeting, “more on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.”

Petrovics started by complimenting the effort and work which has gone into the reworked bylaw however he did have some ideas to pass on to council as well especially focusing  on home based businesses. “There are some questions when dealing with deliveries. In some cases no deliveries (could be made) which seems a little odd just based on a person working out of their home. You are going to potentially have couriers coming and going. The definition on this would be nice. Around signage it is important to let businesses have decent signage to let people know about the business in their community. The other thing I would like to see in consideration would be looking at saving some of the items more on a five year plan for businesses opening out of a home. Presenting a proper five year plan to the community in terms of growth and impact they are going to have in terms of trucks coming and going or storing equipment. If that has an impact on the residents then that could lead to the implication of the bylaw. But really this is about creating opportunities for businesses to come to the area, relocate and get established in the area,” Petrovics said.

Stephen Dykes, who once ran a home based business, stressed how important it is to give a chance for a home based business to grow as his once did. He then went on to ask for a clarification on the maximum height for buildings in the downtown area. Smith explained that buildings on both sides of the street would be under the same restrictions which would be a height of eight metres.

Smith said the new plan would keep the sight lines open in the area while allowing owners the ability to expand the current structures within the guidelines. Dykes was calso oncerned over the eight metre restrictions because it could impede development in the downtown area.

Another resident in attendance also was concerned in this limitation as well. He spoke of the variance that would limited the viability of the downtown are while slowing the expansion by the owners of these businesses. After more than an hour council thanked those who has come to the hearing. The decision was made to delay the third reading of the bylaw so that town staff could look at some of the suggestions and points that were brought forward by the public. The staff will report to council at the first regular council meeting in November.