Secondary (basement) suites were approved for seven single family residences in Ryders Ridge and Beacon Hill, during Monday’s Municipal Planning Commission, despite opposition from neighbours.
Commission members were told that secondary suites were “prescribed uses” in the land use districts involved.
In the case of a development application for 28 Rosewood Rise, a petition containing comments from 21 area residents was received with concerns related to users of rental units, parking on the street, effect on property values, traffic and safety and garage suites in general. Additionally three letters were provided by adjacent landowners in the R1 (low density residential) neighbourhood.
Councillor Matt Prete questioned parking and said while the suites may be allowed under the Land Use Bylaw, “I’m not sure they’re good for the neighbourhood”. He voted against the motion.
The balance of the applications approved were for basement suites in R5 (Narrow Lot General Residential) districts on Reynolds Road (4) and Bowman Circle (2).
During discussion on one of the applications, Prete stated “there’s a certain amount of dissatisfaction with the way things sit. I’m finding it hard to move forward with these things.” He added council is addressing the Land Use Bylaw.
He voted against several of the applications, but on others he voted in favour after a condition was added to ensure required parking is developed on the properties involved.
Two parking stalls must be provided for the primary residence and one for the secondary suite.
One development application for a secondary suite in the cottage area was turned down.
Nine responses were received from neighbours about the proposal for 5015 35 Street. Their concerns related to construction of the home in relation to existing underground water tables, parking, users of the suite and increased density within the existing “character” of the area.
Staff recommended approval of the application, noting that 10 secondary suites have already been approved in the ‘cottage area’ (33rd to 39th Street between Lakeshore Drive and 50th Avenue) with no complaints having been received regarding their use.
Commission members voted against the development stating it would unduly interfere with the amenities of the neighbourhood.
During discussion on the various items, commission members were told the town has issued 69 permits for secondary suites. That number doesn’t include tourist homes or illegal suites, said Development Officer Patty Urban.
Her reports also stated “the provisions of the Land Use Bylaw were intended to delegate the Development Officer authority to issue permits for secondary suites provided all provisions of the Land Use Bylaw are satisfied. However recent amendments to the Land Use Bylaw, pertaining to garage suites, inadvertently resulted in this authority being removed É Therefore the secondary suite “use”, while remaining discretionary in the land use districts described above, now result in the Municipal Planning Commission being the development authority.”
At the last council meeting, first reading was passed on a bylaw to again transfer approval authority to development officers.
A public hearing on that bylaw is set for June 23 after which time councillors may consider second and third reading of the bylaw.