By Colleen Hannigan
Many community members have recently received letters regarding a new zoning bylaw that the council of the District of Barriere will be considering. Letters were sent to property owners that would see a change in their zone. A zoning bylaw implements the goals and objectives outlined in Barriere’s Official Community Plan with respect to land use, and details what you can build and do on your property.
The current zoning bylaw has been in place since the early 1980’s, and covers the entire rural area of the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD). It is much broader than what is required within our District boundaries. The new bylaw is proposing to decrease the number of zones, and update and simplify the bylaw for folks in Barriere.
One of the differences between the old and the new that is worthy of mention, is that mobile homes are now recognized as simply a form of single detached dwellings that have to meet certain minimum requirements. This is why you don’t see them as a specific use in the Residential Zone of the new bylaw. The proposed minimum requirements include:
(a) A Manufactured or Mobile Home, located outside a Mobile Home Park, must:
i) be mounted on a permanent foundation or slab, as approved by the Building Inspector, as opposed to blocks or other temporary form of support;
ii) have a minimum floor dimension between exterior walls of 6.5 metres;
iii) comply with CAN/CSA standards (A277 for Factory-built/Manufactured and CAN/CSA Z240 for Mobile Homes);
(b) Mobile Homes located in Mobile Home Parks shall comply with CAN/CSA Z240 standards and be protected by insulated skirting.
During this public review process concerns have been raised about what would happen if a single-wide mobile home currently located on a lot outside a mobile home park was entirely destroyed?
Staff are getting legal advice on how this situation can be handled so that these owners are not put in a position where they cannot afford to replace their home should this happen. Insurance professionals are also being consulted.
There are also ways to achieve the minimum width requirement of 6.5 metres. Due to public input, the final draft will contain new wording around these points.
Also, there are three Land Use Contracts or LUCs that were put on certain subdivisions. These LUCs do not show up on the new zoning maps, as they will become null and void over time, and the District is required to have a zone in place for those properties when that time comes. Owners in these areas should take a look at the proposed zoning for their properties and not assume the old LUC wording will be remaining for much longer.
We currently have two industrial zones in place, and in the new bylaw there is only one industrial zone being proposed that will replace the two that we currently have. If you have an industrial property you need to look at what the permitted uses are that are being proposed and make sure we haven’t missed anything you think is important.
One residential zone will also replace the current two. I have had conversations already with some people who are concerned about what this means, but if you read the current bylaw there are no apparent differences between the two zones excepting the lot size for a two family dwelling (duplex) on water and sewer is slightly smaller in the current R-1 than in the current R-2.
In the new bylaw, residential lot size minimums will be 500 square feet if the property is serviced by both community water and sewer, and 4,000 square metres (1 acre) if it is only on community water.
Lot coverage will remain at 25 per cent for those properties on water only, and increase to 40 per cent for all properties on both community services.
The rural zone that generally covers large rural forested or agricultural properties will be eliminated entirely within the District boundaries. Most of the rural permitted uses will be added to the Small Holdings zone.
Home Occupations are being allowed in any home but there are specific differences between those entirely located within the principal dwelling (Home Occupation) and those involving an accessory structure (Home-based Business).
Some people have commented that the new bylaw is too vague and open to too much interpretation. This is partially true and purposeful. The goal of this new bylaw is to simplify and provide as much flexibility as possible for local business, industry and residents of Barriere.
This Monday past a number of citizens attended the zoning bylaw open house drop in at the Ridge. Based on comments received at this event, and from comments and concerns received by office staff, a new version of the draft will be presented to council for First Reading on April 7.
This will trigger a formal legislated process that will include further opportunities to comment throughout the month of April, and a public hearing before council (tentatively April 28) where final input from the public will be heard in front of council before the bylaw is given third reading and adopted.
Residents are invited to please come out and express any concerns that you have. This is your opportunity to have your say.
If you can’t make it in person, please call me at the office or email me, and I will document your concerns and present them to council for you.
District ofBarriere CAO Colleen Hannigan can be reached at 250-672-9751, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org