The proposed changes are heading to public hearing on January 7th, 2020.

The proposed changes are heading to public hearing on January 7th, 2020.

Town of Golden heading to public hearing on zoning bylaw amendment

The Town of Golden is looking to amend their zoning bylaw that deals with short term rentals in commercial spaces.

The amendment passed first and second readings at Town Council on Tuesday, December 17, and will now proceed to public hearing, which is currently scheduled for January 7, 2020.

The point of the amendment is to provide clarity and flexibility to the definitions of ‘residential use’ and ‘short term rental’.

Notably, ‘dwelling units’ will be removed as an accessory use in the historic downtown, mixed-use, and general commercial zones. This means these will now be a ‘permitted use’, per the amendment, which would allow people not affiliated with the commercial businesses in the same building to live there.

This will allow for a very prevalent style of development in resort communities to come to Golden, according to a report by Phil Armstrong, the Manager of Development.

In particular, the amendment clarifies some complications that the new OSO development was having with the bylaw, as it was originally presented as a two building commercial development with residential units above ground floor.

The current definition of a dwelling unit meant that the residential units would have to be tied to the commercial businesses on the main floor. This would mean that the residential units could only be occupied by staff working in the businesses below.

This rigid and inflexible definition would prevent developments like OSO from being built in Golden, which are considered an extremely desirable development to have in a downtown commercial area.

OSO would bring more people into the downtown, both through its commercial spaces, and through the residents that would be living in the developments themselves.

The amendment will have several strategic implications, such as encouraging vacation rentals in commercial area, and allowing for small business expansion, creating a business-friendly environment.

The amendment also deals with parking regulations for short term-rentals, and allows more leniency for dwelling spaces in different zones across Golden.

For those interested in attending the public hearing, they can find more information about the amendment on the Town’s website. The public hearing will take place at Town Hall at 7 p.m. Those who can’t attend are welcome to forward written submissions.