An amendment to the city’s Land Use Bylaw that would place new restrictions on secondary suites has been delayed for further consideration.
A public hearing for the amendment was held last night at city council and Derek Hall with the Grande Prairie Association of Realtors was one of those who spoke against it. He says the amendment was drafted in an attempt to fix an already existing parking issue in certain neighborhoods but it will have much further reaching consequences.
“One of our major concerns is affordability so that first time home buyers and people on restricted incomes can afford a place to live. On top of that if they become more restricted and less available rents are going to inevitably get higher.”
Scott Pravitz, President of the United Developers Institute of Grande Prairie also spoke against the amendment and more specifically the consultation process. He says he wants to see as much time and care taken in drafting these restrictions as is necessary.
“I think we need to work with administration a little bit more to come up with a good solution that meets everybody’s issues that they’re having with secondary suites. We just felt that there wasn’t enough research or conversations with some of the groups that are in this industry.”
Considerable community consultation was done prior to the drafting of the amendment with more than 800 residents weighing in on what they would like the restrictions to look like.
Mayor Bill Given says he was surprised to hear from stakeholders that they were concerned about the level of consultation as this was the most consultation administration has ever done on a land use bylaw issue.
The proposed restrictions have been sent back to the committee level for further review by Councillors and administration.