Cranbrook amending zoning bylaw to to comply with provincial bill 44 – My East Kootenay Now

Cranbrook is moving towards higher-density housing options as the city works on meeting provincial regulations.

The new provincial legislation allows three to four units on land currently zoned for single-family homes and duplexes and as many as six units near bus stops with frequent transit service.

Council has given three readings to the proposed amendment to the zoning bylaw that would bring the city in line with the province.

A June 30 deadline was put in place for communities to have their zoning bylaws updated.

Communities will also need to update their OCP and housing needs assessments by December 31, 2025.

City planner Santana Patten said it caused some extra work for city staff but it came at a convenient time.

“It’s well-timed for Cranbrook because we are going through our OCP update,” she said.

“While it is a bit of a heavy workload to start, it’s well-timed.”

She said the new regulations aren’t too far off from what they were already planning.

“Our draft OCP includes similar policies already to provide that kind of infill and greater density and unit types,” Patten added.

“Really the biggest thing with this legislation is they imposed quicker timelines and expanded the infill area that we were proposing initially.”

Councillor Norma Blissett said some people may be against the changes, but at least the government is doing something to address housing.

“People have been talking that we need housing for a long time and now the government is actually acting on it. There seems to be an awful lot of pushback because instead of just talking we’re doing things,” she said.

“It’s a work in progress and I do think we need to open our minds to that and eventually it will work out. People complain all the time that governments don’t do anything but then they do something and people are all irate.”

City staff said in addition to the zoning amendments they are also undertaking a number of studies to gauge the impacts of the legislation on the city’s water and sewer systems.

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