Kelowna council takes another step in implementing new housing bylaws

More infill bylaws changed

Kelowna city council gave first three readings to more bylaw changes resulting from implementation of the province's new housing legislation.

The changes adopted by council Monday centred around sections of the Subdivision, Development and Servicing bylaw.

"(Changes will) simplify administrative processes, reduce barriers, maintain a balanced and acceptable level of service for infrastructure, supporting fire protection capabilities, and to ensure robust design standards that are future proofing our neighbourhoods from an infrastructure servicing standpoint," development planning engineer Nelson Chapman told council.

The most significant changes centre around fire protection.

At the present time, Chapman says fire protection requirements have been a condition of subdivision or rezoning, however with large scale pre-zoning through provincial legislation, the rezoning and subdivision processes are no longer applicable.

"The biggest change we are implementing is to require water for fire protection for all new buildings and give us the tools to assess that as a condition of issuing a building permit," Chapman said

"And, if we are going to require water for fire protection where do we draw that line. How do we say what is enough as a condition for issuing a building permit?"

Chapman says some changes including increasing side yard setbacks and requiring non-combustible cladding will help to strike a balance to reduce fire risk.

"This is simply about giving us the tools to require this at time of building permit...and that in areas of the city where water availability is less than ideal we have the framework to ensure the fire department does have adequate resources available for fire protection before we approve that housing."

Latecomer changes

Another significant change concerns the city's latecomer procedures.

At the present time, the latecomer process requires a council resolution, however under the new bylaw it will be a staff-delegated process.

Latecomer agreements come into effect when a developer pays for the cost of specific infrastructure such as larger pipes that become a benefit to future projects. Those new future projects would then share in the cost of that infrastructure.

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