RR1 lands rezoned 

A bylaw to rezone RR1 properties to a new RS-E1 zoning, which limits permitted uses to a detached dwelling and associated auxiliary uses, was given third reading by council Monday.

But amendments to the bylaw, once it is adopted by council, are already planned, based on input from a consortium of RR1 property owners who recently met with municipal staff as a group.

The RR1 landowners made a presentation at a May 22 public hearing on the RS-E1 bylaw and asked that the hearing be adjourned while they met with staff. That was done and the public hearing concluded on June 4.

Some of the landowners’ suggestions, including allowing a detached secondary suite where property size allows, will addressed in the future amendments to the bylaw given third reading Monday. Municipal staff determined that it would be less expensive to make amendments later, rather than redrafting the bylaw and holding another public hearing.

One of the property owners’ main points to staff was that RR1 lands are a resource and should be used as a means for the municipality to provided community benefits. The municipality recognizes this but also wants to keep within the bed unit cap and to exert greater control over large parcels of land.

As part of an overall planning approach, it was announced at Monday’s meeting that a series of discussion papers will be released later this year, leading to a wholesale review and updating of the Official Community Plan in 2002.

Councillor Ken Melamed was concerned that "auxiliary uses" permitted under the new RS-E1 zoning was too loose a definition and creative land owners might build equestrian centres or motocross tracks.

Planner Robert MacPherson replied that "customary use" would be the test of what is allowed, but staff will prepare a report answering the questions Melamed raised.

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A building permit was issued Monday for a 5,000 square foot home on one of three lots in John Zen’s Alpha Creek lands. The land is zoned RR1, which permits a 5,000 square foot home.

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