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parking problems averted in housing legislation
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Parking problems averted in housing legislation

Oliver’s bylaws responding to the implementation of new provincial housing legislation have finally taken shape. At their April 22 meeting, Oliver council passed first and second readings of the changes to the Official Community Plan and zoning bylaws to comply with the Provincial Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) legislation. Multiple attempts were made to comply with the legislation that focuses on densifying existing neighbourhoods to support small-scale multi-unit housing, but council kept sending the changes back to staff as they did not agree with the reductions in parking. In February, council rejected changes to the parking requirements for townhouses and apartments to one space per unit regardless of size. They opted to keep it at two spaces per unit. This is not against the provincial recommendations, as Randy Houle, director of development services’ report to council explains, the provincial recommendations “recognize that one space per unit may not be appropriate in smaller communities with limited or no public transportation.” At the next meeting on April 2, council voted against changes to parking in the downtown area. That proposed change was to eliminate requirements for commercial parking in the town centre. This would allow a business to develop a lot and only offer on-street parking which council did not agree with. This change was suggested because as Houle noted parking requirements are one of the largest deterrents to development. One small change in regards to parking that was in this version of the bylaw was clarification for single detached dwellings, such as a carriage home, they are required to have one additional parking space, in addition to the two spaces that are required for the main home. Since the new bylaws are removing any reference to carriage homes this was a necessary clarification. All municipalities must have these updated amendments to zoning bylaws and their Official Community Plans before the implementation of the small-scale, multi-unit housing (SSMUH) legislation on June 30, 2024. The first and second readings passed unanimously with little discussion.

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