Changes to secondary suite approval process questioned

Many people concerned about the sudden proliferation of secondary suite applications, packed council chambers June 9

  • Jun. 19, 2014 9:00 a.m.

Many people concerned about the sudden proliferation of secondary suite applications, packed council chambers June 9 to hear former councillor Richard Backs question a proposal to return approval of secondary suites to town staff.

A bylaw to amend the Land Use Bylaw will be the subject of a public hearing at Monday’s (June 23) council meeting. Then council may consider second and third read. However Backs said he’d be unavailable to address the item at that time.

So he appeared as a delegation at the June 9 meeting.

Speaking as a private citizen “on behalf of all homeowners in Sylvan Lake”, he said the bylaw proposes to correct a “perceived error” of council’s own making, an “oversight” that moved authority to approve secondary suites from development officers to Municipal Planning Commission (MPC).

“We see this accident as an actual opportunity — an opportunity for council to more consistently obtain citizens’ input on this and other development items before they become full blown political issues,” he said.

The previous week’s MPC agenda “documented expressions of anger and frustration from over 50 homeowners. Many of those people truly believed that simply putting their thoughts in writing would be enough for the current council to put a stop to secondary suite development in their neighbourhood,” Backs said.

“I ask you to consider carefully the faith these many people have put in this current council.”

But he added, to the best of his knowledge, not one of those homeowners received a call from council or MPC members seeking to understand their concerns or clarify the process.

Quoting from a staff report on the amending bylaw, he noted it said granting the development officer authority to approve secondary suite applications will help streamline applications.

He then questioned the use of the phrase ‘prescribed uses’ in applications for secondary suites before MPC. They’re actually described as ‘discretionary uses’ within most residential districts.

“I know, and you know as well, secondary suites were never intended to be a prescribed use within the Land Use Bylaw,” Backs stated.

He asked council to defer second reading of the bylaw following Monday’s public hearing and solicit more widespread input from citizens. He’d also like all applications for garage suites and secondary suites to continue to be reviewed by MPC “to give due consideration to the ongoing impact of previous development within the existing neighbourhood”.

His third point was that an amendment should be made to the Land Use Bylaw which allows for management of secondary suite development. He referred to a quick reaction which council took when the issue of garage suites arose earlier.

 

Just Posted

Town of Sylvan Lake passes 2019 tax rate, estimates education tax

Sylvan Lake and all municipalities have been left without an education tax from the Province

Town of Sylvan Lake to replace old water meters to streamline monthly billing

Town Council also approved replacing old water meters to the current technology

Drivers reminded impairment and driving don’t mix

National Road Safety Week May 14 to 20

Former Sylvan Lake resident launches latest book

Talena Winters will launch her book at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library on Friday

Sylvan Lake bans use of charcoal barbecues in Town parks

Visitors and residents picnicking in Sylvan Lake are asked to leave the charcoal barbecues at home

Grumpy Cat, who entertained millions online, dies at age 7

Grumpy Cat, actually named Tardar Sauce, died of complications from a urinary tract infection

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

Two female passengers in the Corolla, aged 31 and 65, died at the scene

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

‘What’s your number?’: Advocates urge Canadians to check their blood pressure

May 17 is World Hypertension Day, marked to spread awareness on the risks of high blood pressure

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is May 18

Alberta RCMP participates in Canada Road Safety Week during Victoria Day long weekend

Alberta issues fire ban in northern part of province due to wildfire threat

The government says the decision was made due to the growing threat of wildfires

Fashion Fridays: White sneakers

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Southern Alberta city pulls plug on $13-million solar power project

Goal was to test whether the technology was a feasible way to make steam at city-owned power plant

Most Read