The update of the Town of Ladysmith Zoning Bylaw took another step towards completion last week.
Council made two amendments and gave the bylaw second and third reading during its July 21 meeting. At the meeting, council also voted to refer the bylaw to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, pursuant to the provisions of the Transportation Act.
A public hearing for the Zoning Bylaw was held July 14, and council provided direction to incorporate amendments for the I-2 (Industrial) Zone and the W-2 (Marina) Zone at the special council meeting held following the close of the public meeting.
For the I-2 Zone, staff amended Section 12.3 to state that no building or structure with a height greater than 12 metres shall be located closer to the parcel line than the minimum setback of 10 metres. As well, no building or structure with a height of 12 metres or less shall be located closer to the parcel line than the minimum setback of six metres for the front parcel line and three metres for the interior or exterior side parcel line and for the rear parcel line.
For the W-2 Zone, Section 16.2 was amended to state that docks, floats, ramps, quays or other similar structures shall not be located within the seaward extension, perpendicular to the shoreline, of the boundary of a stream side protection riparian area located 30 metres on either side of the natural boundary of a watercourse, including the sea. As well, no buildings or structures shall be sited within 125 metres of the boundary of the W-4 (Marine Harvesting) Zone actively used for purposes permitted in the W-4 Zone (shellfish aquaculture).
In her report to council, development services director Felicity Adams noted that at the public hearing, some members of the public expressed opposition to a two-storey coach house.
After much discussion, council chose not to reconsider the issue.
Coun. Gord Horth pointed out there were a number of open houses and opportunities for people to offer feedback, while staff and council went back and looked at one-storey and two-storey coach houses, and a lot of research has gone into the proposed regulation.
“What we have here is a compromise, and I will support what is proposed,” said Horth. “We could suggest a bigger footprint and one-storey, and people would be against it. I think this is progressive … it’s a step forward. We put a lot of time and effort into this, and I think it’s time to move forward and give some certainty to the community.”
Coun. Steve Arnett was concerned about privacy, noting he heard from most people who provided input that they were worried about losing privacy.
“Could we specify a motion around infringement on the privacy of immediate neighbours?” he asked.
Adams told Arnett that the Zoning Bylaw states that prior to construction of a coach house dwelling, a property owner must apply to the Town for a Coach House Intensive Residential Development Permit, which sets out guidelines for form and character.
Mayor Rob Hutchins hoped to re-visit limiting coach houses to one storey because he worried about privacy.
“Coach houses are quaint, to me,” he said. “They don’t even have a chance to take away from other people’s privacy. But I don’t see how when you get to two storeys, you can keep from impacting people’s privacy.”
Coun. Jill Dashwood was “totally in support of” allowing two-storey coach houses.
“It just keeps a property so much more tidy if you are able to keep it two storeys,” she said. “We may want to tweak it in the future, but I think with two storeys, we can do some attractive buildings.”
Coun. Bill Drysdale was also in support of two storeys, noting it allows space for parking or a garden.