Breaking News
APC requests variance application clampdown

APC requests variance application clampdown

Sechelt’s Advisory Planning Commission (APC) is asking that District staff create “definitive” guidelines for accepting variance permit applications. The APC made the recommendation at its March 2 meeting in an effort to help reduce the number of variance requests that come before it. The item is slated to be referred to council for consideration at its March 17 meeting.
The APC took this action following the second round of review on a development variance permit application for a residential property at 5957 Sunshine Coast Highway. At the meeting, the committee declined to recommend that council consider a variance to permit a second parking level to be added to an existing garage on the property.
The APC felt the updated request did not address concerns raised in its previous discussion of the project. Committee Chair Randy Knill stated that the design presented in the application went against “crime prevention through environmental design” principles. This was due to the plan creating a space for wildlife or other nuisances in an area between the existing structure and a proposed new retaining wall.
Members of the APC expressed views that too many variance applications are coming forward related to “wants” for property development. They contrasted those types of applications to variance requests that address “needs” or development “hardships” such as issues with subsurface conditions. Opinions were voiced that owners need to understand and comply with the zoning parameters attached to their properties when planning construction projects. They noted that too many applications that come to the committee reflect owners planning whatever they want and asking for variances.
Director of Planning Andrew Allen noted that staff could create a guide and can discuss the importance of planning within a property’s existing zoning with owners considering applying for a variance. Allen also noted that should an owner decide to make an application, following such a discussion, it is the staff’s duty to receive and process it. Consideration of approval of such applications is a decision of council.
Connie Jordison

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top