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Housing bylaw given final adoption by Parksville council

Bylaw aims to increase density and encourage rentals over short-term accommodations
The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre located at 100 Jensen Ave East.

Parksville council has given final adoption to the provincial Small-Scale, Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) bylaw.

Mayor Doug O'Brien praised city staff's efforts in preparing the 26-page document required to meet the provincial government's Bill 44 housing legislation.

“Our planning department have gone to a lot of work to get this done and I know it was a phenomenal amount, I’m going to say right out front," said Mayor Doug O'Brien during council's July 3 meeting.

The SSMUH initiative modifies 18 of the city's zones, with 15 changed in response to the provincial government's Bill 44. Two zones were altered as part of general housekeeping and one zone (NC-1) was deleted.

The provincial government has mandated municipalities change zoning bylaws to allow four dwelling units per parcel in zones that previously only permitted two, among other sweeping changes.

Parksville’s single family residential (RS-1) zone will see the most change, according Blaine Russell, director of community planning and building.

There are 3,522 properties zoned RS-1 in the city, with 1,461 of them larger than 800 square metres and more likely to accommodate a secondary suite or be a duplex, according to Russell. The city currently has 153 legal secondary dwellings.

Coun. Joel Grenz said he initially had some concerns about the effect the provincial legislation would have on the city planning department's ability to provide housing.

“I was pleased to see how this legislation was adapted for our current community and I’m comfortable with how that works," Grenz said.

Council unanimously approved final adoption for SSMUH. 

During its June 17 meeting, it gave three readings to the bylaw. 

A housing needs assessment is planned for this fall, according to Russell, and after that an official community plan review that specifically looks at the land-use component and how it ties into the housing need assessment.


Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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