To provide more affordable housing options in the City of Parksville, council will look at whether it would allow accessory carriage houses on certain single-family properties within the downtown area.
Mayor Ed Mayne put forward a notice of motion at its regular meeting on Sept. 8 to direct staff to prepare a zoning and development amendment bylaw for council to consider.
In the downtown core, single-family dwellings in the R1 Zone are allowed a suite or carriage houses but those that are in the C3 Zone are not.
“There’s very few houses, single-family dwellings in the downtown core but they’re being missed in the zoning that the other areas have and I think it’s important that if we’re looking at creating more affordable housing, we’re able to put those in place in those areas,” said Mayne.
Coun. Marilyn Wilson indicated its a good motion but would prefer council put it aside as they still have to deal with the other outstanding motions already prioritized.
Coun. Mark Chandler said addressing the affordable housing problem in the city needs to be a priority.
“We’ve got a lot of issues right now,” said Chandler. “People can’t find housing. They’re living in motels right now. Unless we do something now and as quickly as possible and anything to do with housing people, I think we’re going to have a real serious issues on our hands. And so I’d like to see this move forward as soon as possible. I support it and I think it’s a great initiative.”
Wilson pointed out that currently there are many housing developments happening in the city and doesn’t feel there is a need for carriage houses at this time.
“Before anybody could even get to put in a carriage house, some of those other apartments are already in the works so I am not so sure it’s that high a priority,” said Wilson. “But I do agree with the motion. I am just not sure it’s that high a priority with all the other building that is coming down right now.”
Mayne indicated most of the developers of the housing that is underway he had talked to stated they’re filled up with a long waiting list.
“We need more affordable housing which is the real key to the question,” said Mayne. “It’s the classification of affordable and these smaller units become that. These carriage houses become more affordable. So I think, that it’s a good time to put it through.”
Mayne’s motion was endorsed by council. It will be reviewed by council at its committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 20.