Changes in Planning Act increase small developer opportunities

Posted on: December 2, 2020

Bradley Wright, Director of Development Services, presented an Affordable Housing update to Council during Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting. In the past few years, there have been several significant changes to the provincial Planning Act and zoning bylaws. In 2017, the Planning Act was changed to allow additional dwellings or second units without a minor variance. In the fall of 2019, the Planning Act was amended to allow additional dwellings AND second units without a minor variance. Essentially, this means there could now be up to three dwellings on a single lot: a principal residence, an addition, and a cottage house / tiny home. “A tiny change in wording allows for big changes in land use,” explained Director Wright. Councillor Bird made a point of clarifying that “it doesn’t mean that any person in any residence has a free-for-all to build an addition – they must go through the application process, and each application is considered individually.” Councillor Cameron noted that as far as increasing affordable housing, the planning act does not impose specific rental prices for anyone building an addition or tiny home on their lot. Director Wright pointed out that this is an opportunity to increase the housing supply within town boundaries apart from investment by large developers: “this is a soft way to allow for intensification.”

Article by Janelle Labelle

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News