Ladysmith zoning bylaw update looks into coach housing

An update to the Town of Ladyzming zoning bylaw proposes a number of regulations for coach houses.

A detailed update to Ladysmith’s zoning bylaw looks set to go ahead after increased affirmation from council Oct. 30.

A special meeting was held at City Hall, where project consultant Brent Elliot presented the bylaw update to council and the Town’s Advisory Planning Commission (APC).

The meeting drew a detailed discussion on the construction of coach houses as accessory buildings, a conversation Mayor Rob Hutchins described as “the toughest of the night.”

“Coach housing is something that’s new, but it’s been an issue in the past,” Elliot said at the meeting. “We wanted to introduce it gradually so it’s something that’s not widespread.”

Hutchins confirmed a recent survey proved that 96 per cent of locals wanted to legalize secondary suites and 66 per cent are for the prospect of coach houses, if one is desired.

“The majority of people say it’s a good thing. The concerns were the height and the placement in the lot. We want [to continue to strive for] driving distance to major amenities,” said the mayor.

The main regulations proposed for coach houses are as follows:

• They are only permitted in R-2 (rural) zones where a rear lane exists.

• Maximum floor space is 60 square metres.

• Height is limited to 6.6 metres, which is around 22 feet.

• The coach house may exist as either a detached at-grade dwelling or as part of a two-storey garage.

• The address of the coach house is to be clearly seen from the street and, for safety and visibility purposes, a clear path is to be provided from the front parcel line to the coach house.

• For privacy issues, a continuous arc of six metres must be established, unobstructed by neighbouring buildings, from each transparent coach house window.

The majority of councillors were pleased with Elliot’s proposals.

“I’m impressed with your intent to find a balance [between privacy and regulations],” said Coun. Steve Arnett. “My preference would be to have a coach house at-grade rather than over a garage, as it protects privacy better. But overall, I’m in favour.”

Coun. Bill Drysdale echoed Arnett’s thoughts.

“I think this will work because if you have a 20-by-32 garage, you can then put a coach house on top if the lot is big enough,” said Drysdale.

Coun. Duck Paterson briefly highlighted the minimal amount of rural areas in the town.

“My concern is that these are strictly for where lanes exist. There’s [basically] no rural properties in town (with lanes),” he said.

Felicity Adams of the APC, the Town’s director of development services, seemingly calmed Paterson’s fears instantly.

“We’re bringing in [a segment] of the bylaw to rectify that for some homes,” she said.

Coun. Glenda Patterson said it was important for council to get back to people, who have garages, with the regulations.

Hutchins was also in favour of the proposals but voiced his concern about form of character and design of the coach house.

“If you have an older housing stock with a brand-new coach house rather than 1950 vintage, where’s the tradition?”

Coun. Gord Horth concurred with the mayor.

“We are primarily an old town, and I’ve seen some places that haven’t done a good job on design,” he said.

If the bylaw update is finalized, it will likely come into place in early 2014.

Just Posted

Ladysmith, Stz’uminus celebrate ‘Salish Wind’ unveiling

Ladysmith and Stz’uminus residents gathered together last Wednesday night to witness the… Continue reading

150 flags to be raised at Ladysmith’s Aggie Hall for National Child Day

Ladysmith Family and Friends leads project to have children, but also a few adults, paint 150 flags.

Heavy rainfall causes sinkhole along Ladysmith street

Heavy rainfall and the resulting erosion caused a sinkhole to form early… Continue reading

Second boat sinks in Ladysmith Harbour in less than a month

A boat has sank in Ladysmith Harbour marking the second such incident… Continue reading

Chemainus Festival takes theatregoers on comedic Christmas trip to Cancun

Grab your sandals and 80s Christmas sweater and let Chemainus Theatre Festival take you to Cancun.

UPDATE: More searchers out looking for missing senior near Nanaimo

Search and rescue personnel from all over the Island are looking for 73-year-old Faye Hanson

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Federal government to boost treatment options for opioid drug users: minister

More than 2,800 people died last year as a result of the overdose crisis

Most Read