Ladysmith receives $130K to update zoning bylaw

Ladysmith can update its zoning bylaw to support the Community Sustainability Vision and Community Energy Plan thanks to a federal grant.

The Town of Ladysmith is receiving funding from the federal government to update an important piece of the town’s legislation.

Ladysmith will be updating its zoning bylaw to support the implementation of the Community Sustainability Vision and Community Energy Plan — and “greener” development in the town — thanks to a $130,000 grant from the federal Gas Tax Fund.

As the key piece of municipal legislation pertaining to land use regulations, the zoning bylaw needs immediate attention to ensure the community’s investments in sustainability planning are carried out at the operational and decision-making levels, according to a press release from the town.

“Our Vision for a Sustainable Community and our Community Energy Plan provide a clear path for a resilient community, with tremendous community support thanks to the involvement of hundreds of Ladysmith citizens in the development of both documents,” said Mayor Rob Hutchins. “Now we need to make sure that their recommendations are reflected in the finest details of all related bylaws, plans and policies.”

Ladysmith’s existing zoning bylaw was adopted in 1997. It has undergone numerous amendments since that time (more than 60 to date), and some regulations date as far back as the 1960s.

In the meantime, the town has invested considerable time and resources into the development of several overarching, sustainability-focused planning documents, including a new Official Community Plan (OCP) in 2003, as well as the national award-winning Community Sustainability Vision and Community Energy Plan in 2009.

This project will have several outcomes:

• an updated zoning bylaw that supports the implementation of the Community Vision and Energy Plan

• a technically sound document with improved bylaw clarity and clear regulations

• consistency with the direction of the Official Community Plan

• attention to zoning regulations in special areas such as the downtown zoning to support economic development in target sectors and existing job centres (e.g. retail, industrial, marine-related business, professional and knowledge-based business, tourism infrastructure)

• integration of detached secondary suite regulations as Phase 2 of the secondary suite project

• supporting density in areas where services are located (e.g. downtown) and at a density to support transit

• modernized parking standards that will also support bicycle parking and greener parking areas

• consideration of landscaping and screening to mask or separate uses and enhance the natural environment.