Council gives first reading to secondary suites bylaw

Sylvan Lake town council on Monday gave first reading to a proposed amendment to the Town’s Secondary Suites bylaw

Sylvan Lake town council on Monday gave first reading to a proposed amendment to the Town’s Secondary Suites bylaw, choosing a preferred option out of seven presented in total.

Administration, in its report to council, noted the preferred option “allows for the most orderly manner to regulate secondary suites.”

That option, according to Matthew Pawlow of Parkland Community Planning Services, will see secondary suites allowed only on a single detached dwelling lot when “the secondary suite is located within a lot that allows for garage suites as indicated on the Garage Suites Map … or on a corner lot, or the lot has frontage along an arterial or collector road, or on a lot where residential development is only located on one side of the road.”

Rear lane access and hard-surfaced on-site parking are also requirements, and the suites will be permitted only in neighbourhoods where their current development density is no higher than 15 per cent of the neighbourhood’s overall detached dwellings.

Coun. Matt Prete felt that percentage could be increased.

“Quite frankly, two out of ten houses wouldn’t be too many on a block,” he said. “I’m more concerned about the spacing than I am about the number of them. I wouldn’t want two right together or one one each side of somebody, and then the poor guy in the middle has got a secondary suite on both sides.”

Coun. Jas Payne said he believed the wording of the proposed amendment to be somewhat vague — particularly in its lack of definition of ‘neighbourhood.’

Coun. Megan Chernoff agreed, and felt a decision on development density maximums would be made easier if ‘neighbourhood’ was more clearly defined.

“In my mind, the number discussion would be a lot easier, because that would change my perception on what number is acceptable,” she said.

First reading of the proposed bylaw amendment was carried unanimously. A public hearing on the bylaw will take place Oct. 27.