District of Squamish will update its bylaws and regulations to align with new provincial rules to create more housing in the Province.
According to a District memo, staff will update its Zoning Bylaw by June 2024 to allow small-scale, multi-unit housing in the community. The Province announced these changes last year. A District report last year also noted that Squamish needs 6,840 homes in the next eight years.
The district must amend zoning to permit up to three or four units per lot, depending on minimum lot size and allow six units near frequent bus service for lots within a certain distance, which has yet to be determined. The district will also need to amend setbacks, height, and density.
Last year, BC introduced laws that make sweeping changes to zoning bylaws to create more housing. The Province says local bylaws have historically allowed either single-family homes or condos and restricted the so-called missing middle homes such as duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, and fourplexes.
Bill 44 Housing Statues aims to correct that discrepancy with these changes:
1. Secondary suites or accessory dwelling units will be allowed province-wide in all single-family residential zones in all municipalities and regional districts.
2, Three to four units of small-scale, multi-unit housing must be permitted on each parcel of land if zoned exclusively for single-family or duplex residential in a municipality with a population greater than 5,000.
3. The minimum number of dwelling units that must be allowed by parcel size are:
A minimum of 3 housing units on parcels that are 280 m2 or smaller
A minimum of 4 units on parcels more significant than 280 m2
4, Six units of small-scale, multi-unit housing must be allowed near frequent bus service on single-family and duplex residential lots greater than 280 m2 and within a municipality or regional district with a minimum population of 5,000.
Frequent transit bus stops are defined as bus stops with at least one route with the following service:
Monday to Friday: On average, a bus must stop at least every 15 minutes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: On average, a bus must stop at least every 15 minutes between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Bill 44 also removes the requirement to hold a Public Hearing for zoning amendments for residential developments that conform with the OCP. Instead, local governments must update their OCP every five years with information gleaned from the five-year Housing Needs Report. The Province is giving $61 million to support local governments implementing these initiatives. The district will receive $256,717 by the end of January 2024 to improve development processes.