Limited Land Use Bylaw changes brought back

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Canmore’s municipal planners are bringing back some proposed changes to the Land Use Bylaw that were considered just before the municipal election.

Changes being brought back included items that were considered administrative and less contentious in nature, as well as some changes that have gained stakeholder support through additional dialogue, according to supervisor of planning and development Lee Prevost.

Prevost reviewed three general areas of change at council’s Nov. 21 regular meeting: formatting, omnibus amendments and green building regulations. A public hearing was scheduled for Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Civic Centre.

“It is important to note there are no blanket rezoning proposals for any sites in town this time, there are no updates to items like driveway locations and roof heights and there are no changes to accessory dwelling unit regulation,” Prevost said. “Proposed amendments to those items will be part of future LUB updates.

“In part due to a significant amount of stakeholder engagement we had earlier this year and because we found a reasonable level of support for these changes, we are recommending a fairly tight timeline to third reading, which would allow us to get to other Land Use Bylaw updates we proposed through 2018.

“If we happen to receive feedback we are moving too quickly, we will revise these timelines as we go.”

The 2018 schedule includes changes to the Teepee Town Bylaw, accessory dwelling units, tree protection information, steep creek mapping, employee housing changes and tourist home regulation changes, embedding the sustainability screening report process into the bylaw and any regulations needed with respect to legalization of cannabis.

As for the omnibus changes currently out for public feedback, they include stricter FireSmart considerations for landscaping and building materials, formalizing overland flood districts and bed and breakfast regulations for single-family dwellings in R2 and R2A districts.

“We want the bylaw to be easy to understand,” Prevost said. “We want our current interpretation practices to be explicit in the clauses and we want to improve the consistency in how we use terminology.”

Overland flooding changes include updated minimum floor heights for areas of downtown and south Canmore – property considered in the flood fringe. While new flood maps since the 2013 flood are not yet available from the province, Prevost said new minimum floor heights proposed are intended to minimize damage to structures.

Green building requirements are being brought forward due to changes in federal and provincial programs that have made Canmore’s current regulations out of date, according to Prevost.

But proposed changes encourage builders and developers of small scale residential to go beyond the new EnerGuide targets by 10 per cent as the new standard and it would include penalties and incentives. Large scale residential, commercial, industrial and institutional development would have three options: meet 2011 targets, 2015 targets or exceed 2015 targets. Meeting or exceeding updated targets would include the potential of variances for things like building height, setbacks, density and parking.

Prevost said changes would be reviewed with industry input a year after they are adopted to ensure regulations are achieving the results being sought – a higher level of energy efficiency in building design.

“There is no requirement to anything but the building code,” he said. “The incentives kick in for those developers that choose to do better.”

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Rocky Mountain Outlook