Sechelt looking for public input on zoning bylaw overhaul

The District of Sechelt is looking for input on its first complete review of the zoning bylaws since 1987.

Andrew Allen, director of planning and development, is leading the overhaul of Zoning Bylaw 580.

In a report to the district’s Advisory Planning Commission (APC) on Sept. 1, Allen said the bylaw has been amended more than 250 times since being first adopted and the new bylaw is expected to reduce the 56 distinct land use zones in Sechelt to 23 and modernize several sets of regulations.

“The Zoning Bylaw helps us plan for what we want our community to look like in the future,” Allen said in a release announcing the start of the public consultations. “We have five main areas of the bylaw we want to hear from the community on and we will spend the next several weeks using a variety of different means to connect with the citizens who want to have their say.”

Mayor Darnelda Siegers said council is “very pleased” to be getting started on the bylaw review, which she said “has been at the top of council’s list of projects for some time.”

The district said the consultation will look at five specific areas of the bylaw:

• Home-based businesses.

• Density and residential infill.

• Short-term rentals.

• Agricultural Land Reserve uses.

• Urban agriculture, such as keeping chickens and bees and running farms stands.

Those topics were already presented as “issue summaries” to the APC, which provided extensive feedback to council.

The district said it will post more details about the zoning bylaw consultation on its website in the coming days, but it has already launched a survey specific to short-term rentals at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ShortTRental

“For now we are only addressing short-term rentals as they relate to zoning,” the district said on its Facebook feed. “A specific short-term rental bylaw will also be considered and your feedback today can help determine what that might look like.”

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