Concept art for a an accessory building at 432 Methuen Street. (courtesy Town of Ladysmith)

Concept art for a an accessory building at 432 Methuen Street. (courtesy Town of Ladysmith)

Ladysmith council: Permits approved, Stz’uminus summit coming

Highlights from Ladysmith council’s April 5 meeting

• One of two Development Variance Permits was granted for an accessory building at 432 Methuen Street in Ladysmith. The owner of the property wanted to remove and older single car detached garage and replace it with a larger building with a second story. The existing garage is 27 sq.m. and the owner wants to increase that to 60 sq.m. as well as adding a 13 sq.m. loft to the building.

The new building does fall within accepted visibility at intersections and the garage is within the “sight triangle” acceptance. The new location is intended to allow for the property owner to keep two existing trees on the property. Town staff have made part of the permit a clause to remove an existing gravel area on the boulevard and replace the site with soil, grass and a tree.

Councillor Rob Johnson questioned why this would be a requirement. He said the property owner was using this area so that his mother could have firm access to the residence. Town staff said that the driveway changes or improvements would be part of the building permit stage, but if the owner wished they could apply for the driveway permit early.

Councillor Marsh Stevens questioned the design with the proposed building has three “garage doors” but no “human doors” for access. Town staff stated that the owner could add a passage door without interfering with the process. Councillor Duck Paterson questioned the three garage doors and wondered if this configuration could lead to having a “back yard garage” business opening up at the location.

Staff stated that a home-based businesses is allowed but something along the lines of an auto body business would go to far. It could be used for small crafts, but not a large commercial business.

Council voted in favour of granting the permit at the meeting.

• A second Development Variance Permit was requested for a new construction at 901 Hannington Road.

There were three parts of the recommendation, for the single unit dwelling. One being to increase the height from 9.0 metres to 12.2 metres. The second variance was to increase the maximum perimeter wall height from 9.14 metres to 10.5 metres and the third request for variance in the retaining wall height from 3.0 metres to 3.5 metres.

Development Variance Permits allow neighbouring property owners to share any possible concerns, with council, if there are any. Town council received one late response to the item from an unsigned email. The letter stated that the retaining wall height was not in keeping with the others in the neighbourhood. Another concern was there could be a problem if the height of the property is the same height above the road as the other properties.

The third item, from the unsigned letter, regarded the condition of the Hannington extension road that the proposed dwelling is located on. It was pointed out, by Town staff, that this is a private road/driveway that is shared by the four properties located on it.

Council approved the Variance Permit and also requested that staff send letters to the four property owners advising them of the liabilities and responsibilities of the private road as well as ways to mitigate the effect of stormwater run off.

• Council approved a motion to have staff apply for a grant, up to $5,000, for a Union of B.C. Municipalities “Regional Community to Community Forum Program” grant.

The Community to Community Forum will support at least one gathering between Ladysmith and Stz’uminus First Nation councils.

Before COVID, both councils have held a couple of Community to Community (C2C) events that have helped each council to learn and understand from each other.

“The opportunity for open communication will engage our communities and further build relationships and understanding,” Mayor Aaron Stone said.

The town must match the $5,000 grant. Matching funds can be a combination of cash and in-kind contributions, such as staff time, donation of meeting space and materials from the Town or the community.

The community interaction must be held before March 31, 2023. Town staff anticipate that the event could possibly happen before the end of summer 2022.