Salmon Arm Council gave preliminary approval to a plan to provide more variety in ownership models for housing developments.
Text amendments proposed for the city’s R4, medium density residential zone, will allow, in particular, multi-family bareland strata developments rather than just single family. The multi-family dwellings could be subdivided into smaller lots than is currently permitted as long as they’re done under one development permit.
Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, explained at the Sept. 20 development and planning meeting that the city initiated the change, but it was sparked by a 120-unit development in Canoe.
He said what is being proposed in Canoe is a bareland strata lot for each duplex. That would mean each individual unit would have what’s called a party wall between the internal walls, so the front and back and, in some cases, the sideyards of each duplex would be completely owned by the unit owner.
“This is quite a different strata arrangement than most developments in Salmon Arm,” Pearson said, showing a variety of housing complexes.
He said a building strata has a lot of common property, whereas in a bareland strata development, housing unit owners are responsible for their own backyards and frontyards.
“The way our zoning bylaw is set up now in the R4 zone, it doesn’t contemplate a bareland strata consisting of duplexes, triplexes or multi-family developments.”
He said the Broadview Villa development is an example of one that could have been developed with bareland strata lots. “But there has been no demand for that up until now.”
Members of council expressed their support.
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren said she lives in a bareland strata and it works well.
“One of the main cost-saving measures for a resident, you don’t have to hire a landscaping company to come and take care of the entire property which can be quite pricey. So this gives people a manageable piece of land that they can mow their own lawn and plant their own flowers…”
Coun. Debbie Cannon asked who would be responsible for clearing the streets of snow.
Pearson said there would still be a strata responsible for the internal road.
Coun. Tim Lavery asked if the amendment would apply to properties already zoned R4 but not yet developed. He was told it would.
Mayor Alan Harrison expressed his support.
“I think it’s just one more tool, one more flexible way, to allow densification in the areas where we need denser development.”
Coun. Kevin Flynn and Cannon also voiced support, with Flynn thanking city staff for finding ways to be creative and making the higher density projects work.
The proposed amendment will go to meetings of council before it’s passed.
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