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Milne: Big developments get one step closer to approval

Milne: Big developments get one step closer to approval

milne column headA number of development projects in Sechelt have moved forward in the past month.  Oracle Properties has been given the go ahead to proceed with a 17 unit residential development in the Tyler/Baillie Road area of West Sechelt.  This project includes the construction of two affordable housing duplex units.

Bylaws for the Rockwood Oceans Stories and Wesbrooke by the Sea seniors housing proposals, as well as for two single family residential developments by Clayton Family Lands, received third reading earlier this month.  These projects are located in the area between our downtown and West Sechelt. A key factor for consideration of final approval will be future road connections between the two areas.  Before the Bylaws come forward for adoption, road servicing requirements and dedications will need to be secured from the developers.

Traffic management and safety as development proceeds also impacts consideration of the RTC Properties proposal for land adjacent to Snickett Park on the Trail Bay Waterfront.  The public has long expressed the need to have a safe pedestrian crossing of Highway 101 while maintaining efficient vehicle traffic flow through this area.  With this project moving to a Public Hearing on Thursday, October 5 at 7pm in the first floor meeting room at the District Office, the District looks forward to hearing from the community about how this development could be part of the solution to this issue.

Updates on the status of all active development applications are provided at the monthly Planning and Community Development Committee Meeting.  This information is also posted monthly on the Development Application Action Chart, available on Sechelt.ca.

Land development in Sechelt requires a property owner to make a series of applications.  The overall guidelines for how land can be developed are within our Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw.  Our Zoning Bylaw specifies how land can be used.  If an application proposes use of land that does not meet with existing OCP or Zoning designations, that proposal will need to go through a bylaw amendment process.  The purpose of this is to ensure our community has a say in the consideration of the proposed changes.

This process often requires a property owner to engage qualified professionals to assist with technical details. Also developers and their representative may need to meet with staff in our Development Services and Engineering Departments to ensure the information needed is available to make informed decisions about the fit of the proposal within existing legislation.  A review of the current Action Chart shows that on a number of the active applications, the District is awaiting further input from the proponents.

There are also a number of applications waiting for the District to make updates on the Zoning Bylaw, which we anticipate will be coming forward in November, 2017.  Consideration of amending the OCP to include policies for care facilities is planned for late in 2017, after the public survey on this subject closes and staff have an opportunity to review and make recommendations based on the input received.

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