City of Duncan Amends Zoning Bylaw

DUNCAN, BC – On July 20, 2020, City Council gave third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3166.01, 2020.

The amendment bylaw has no connection to the BC Housing Supportive Housing Development planned for White Road.

Council waived the public hearing on the amendment bylaw because the objectives of the Zoning Amendment Bylaw were seen to be consistent with the Affordable and Special Needs Housing Policies of the City of Duncan Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2030, 2007, as permitted under the Community Charter.

The amendment bylaw will update the following aspects of the City’s current zoning bylaw:

Support for women and children who have experienced or are at risk of violence – The primary purpose of the amendment bylaw is to permit women’s second stage housing (usually a private, secure, low-cost apartment or townhouse units where women and children can live safely and independently typically for 6 to 18 months after fleeing violence) in high density residential zones without a rezoning process, to ensure the locations can be kept confidential to protect the safety of the women and children staying there. The City is expecting one application for a women’s second stage housing development.

The amendment bylaw will also remove the current definition of Residential Shelter, which was previously permitted in all zones but was not limited to women and children.  Instead, the amendment bylaw adds the definition of a Transition House, which is defined as temporary accommodation to provide sleeping units or dwelling units for the provision of emergency and support services for women and children who have experienced or are at risk of violence.

Density Bonusing – The amendment bylaw also includes changes to density bonusing provisions, which is where a development can achieve additional residential density in exchange for providing affordable housing or rental housing.

The current density bonusing provisions allow density bonusing for developments that offered rental or affordable housing for at least 5 or 10 years, depending on the percentage of the building allocated. However, at the end of 5 or 10 years, these rental or affordable housing units could have then been sold or rented for market value. The amendment bylaw removes the time frame, so that the units will remain rental or affordable housing in perpetuity.

Assisted Living Residential Facilities – The current zoning bylaw requires the existing assisted living and independent living facilities (such as Duncan Manor, Sherwood House and Wedgwood House) to be licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act; however, these facilities are not registered under this legislation so they are currently non-conforming to the zoning. The amendment bylaw adds the definition of Assisted Living Residential Facilities to mean sleeping units or dwelling units for persons aged 55 or older, or for persons of any age with physical or mental health challenges. This change would permit these existing facilities to continue to operate and the enable the development of similar facilities in the future.

Emergency Shelters – Emergency Shelters are currently prohibited in all zones, except if City Council approves a temporary use permit. The proposed amendment bylaw removes the definition of Emergency Shelters; however, this use will remain prohibited as it is not an expressly permitted use. The amendment bylaw will prohibit all types of Temporary Accommodation in all zones, except where expressly permitted as a Transition House, Bed and Breakfast, or Tourist Accommodation.

This means a public hearing would be held if City Council is asked to consider issuing a temporary use permit for an Emergency Shelter.

Off-street parking regulations – The amendment bylaw will reduce the number of required parking spaces for assisted living and second stage housing to 0.50 per dwelling unit as residents of these types of facilities typically have less than average car ownership. A Transition House will be required to provide a minimum of 4 parking spaces.

The amendment bylaw also removes the option for developers to provide a $8,000 cash-in-lieu payment for parking spaces at their own discretion, and instead gives City Council the opportunity to determine when it is appropriate to provide a variance to the parking requirements and  require a payment of $8,000 or more per parking space.

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Additional Resources:

BC Housing – Women’s Transition Housing and Supports Program

BC Housing – Seniors’ Supportive Housing

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Staples,Mayor
T: (250) 466-9412

Peter de Verteuil, CAO
T: (250)-746-6126