qathet Regional District staff will be directed to prepare a report on floor area ratio and lot coverage ratio for properties to determine how they might impact official community plan density and housing policies.
At the November 22 regional board meeting, Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said he was curious to get input from staff after making the motion for the staff report.
“Since our last planning committee meeting, our province has introduced proposed legislation around secondary dwellings, water systems and transit, and I’m wondering if we need to put in an amendment to add at the end with the statement ‘and complying with the recently introduced legislation.’ I’m wondering if it’s necessary or if it will be included in the report, because the landscape we operate in is shifting sands.”
Manager of planning services Laura Roddan said she didn’t recommend any changes to the motion and that it was fine as it is.
“Yes, the province has announced a whole slew of legislative changes, but none of those are coming into force until the middle of 2024,” said Roddan. “Electoral areas are exempt from many of the changes coming, is my understanding. Information is going to become clearer as time goes by.”
Gisborne said he was happy with the input from Roddan.
City of Powell River director George Doubt said that directors had all seen media reports announcing new provincial legislation on residential development and housing. He said regarding the housing around transit hubs that allow something between six and 20-storey buildings, there were no electoral areas in the regional district where transit hubs happen, other than the one hub at the Town Centre mall in the city.
“A lot of the details actually mean they won’t affect things in the regional district,” said Doubt. “It’s mostly aimed at more urban places, maybe including City of Powell River, but it won’t have as much effect as people think they might in the electoral areas.”
Gisborne said what he has heard from other elected officials is the legislation is targeted and focused around the Lower Mainland and larger urban centres, but in going out to more rural areas, the details become vague. He said more will be found out as time progresses.
The board voted to direct staff to prepare the report on floor area ratio and lot coverage ratio to determine how they might impact official community plan density and housing policies.
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