Kimberley City Council has approved a zoning change to allow for phase 6 of the Forest Crowne development to move forward, after hearing from residents at a Public Hearing at a regular Council meeting on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Council gave the green light to the zoning amendment, which is the first step in the new phase of the development.
The main reason for the change in zoning is to allow for an increase in types of housing, including secondary dwellings.
City Planner Christopher Jones explained in a report to Council that the R-8A zone and phase 6 development plan are consistent with the objectives and policies for residential development set out in the new Official Community Plan (OCP) that encourage an increased variety of housing types and sizes in all residential areas.
“Increasing the diversity and density of new developments can help to accommodate a wider variety of housing needs and contribute to improving affordability in the overall housing supply,” wrote Jones.
Mayor Don McCormick echoed Jones’ statement, saying that there was some general curiosity among those who attended the public hearing with regards to short versus long-term rentals.
“We definitely appreciate why there is concern when it comes to accessory dwellings and short-term rentals, or ‘party houses’ as some people called them,” said McCormick. “There are policies and zoning in place to help alleviate rental shortfall. It’s really a supply and demand issue. We need to help provide a supply of rental properties, which will in turn make rentals more affordable.”
He adds that City staff and Council encourage the building of accessory dwellings for the purpose of making them available as long-term rentals.
As noted at a previous Council meeting at the beginning of September, when first, second and third readings of the bylaw were approved, phase 6 will be located at the south end of Forest Crowne Rise section and will see 22 new lots, the pathway extended and a playground added. The total area including the playground space is just over eight acres.
Anthem United Communities Ltd. is handling the development and a representative was at Monday’s Council meeting to answer questions from residents. Conceptual drawings are now available for the public to see by viewing the Council agenda from Monday, October 28, 2019.