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City councillor suggests building time limits for secondary dwellings

In order to make sure additional housing is built, a Campbell River councillor would like to see time limits placed on residents rezoning their property to allow for a secondary suite or building.

Charlie Cornfield brought the idea up last week as city council dealt with four separate applications for secondary dwellings or suites at 2900 Quinsam Road, 2675 Dolly Varden Road, 240 Stratford Drive and 790 Birch Street.

Right now there are no limits on rezoning for construction. The rezoning remains in place indefinitely.

Secondary dwellings are limited to a floor area of 90 square meters (968 square feet) and a maximum of two bedrooms.

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“I guess I just get concerned that we’re approving lots. But if we’re approving a lot of these development proposals but no one acts on them, then we’re not really making a difference and I would like to think that these things should carry on,” Cornfield said.

Development Services Director Ian Buck said the idea was “worthy of future discussion,” possibly at a committee of the whole or an Official Community Plan (OCP) meeting, but no commitment was made at Monday’s council meeting.

Buck suggested individual property rezoning could be introduced as “phased developments,” which have a sunset date if they’re not acted on.

While agreeing with Cornfield, Mayor Andy Adams noted that individual property rezoning left on the books for “10 years or more” could have “unintended consequences” if there’s zoning changes for the entire neighbourhood.

In concluding the discussion, Coun. Ron Kerr said maybe the city could prevent drawn out developments if it would “become a development friendly community. I think that’s something we should aim for.”

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