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Apr 7,2015 Land Use Committee

Land Use Committee
Agenda               Minutes

4.1 Proposed Zoning Bylaw Text Amendments to Address House Height, Siting and Size Concerns
Report: Development Services - Planning, dated March 31, 2015 / File: 3900-05-03

Staff provided an overview of the proposed Zoning Bylaw Text Amendments, including comparison of the existing and proposed calculation methods for site grade and building height, as well as proposed restrictions for landscape and retaining walls. It was noted that these proposed grade and height calculations will initially apply only to the RS1 zone, while the landscape and retaining wall proposals will apply to all eight RS zones in the City.
Councillor Lahti opened the floor for questions and comments from the public. Sandy Liles, Port Moody, asked whether the proposals will apply to the RS8 zone.
Councillor Lahti clarified that the grade and height proposals will only apply to the RS1 zone at this time.
Ronnie Jagday, Port Moody, asked whether building applications that are currently in progress would be grandfathered, and whether there are any measures in place to limit building size. Staff explained that nothing has changed yet, but once the amendment has been read a first and second time and a public hearing called, any applications would be held until a Council decision has been made. Staff noted that some items will return to Council going forward, but Council has not given direction regarding other issues such as FAR at this point.
Nicolas Vanleeuwen, Port Moody, inquired about setbacks on Barber Lane, noting that it is different from Ioco Road making it possible for houses with an address on Ioco Road and backing onto Barber Lane to block views of houses north of the Lane. Staff explained that the setback on Barber Lane is treated as a rear yard in the Zoning Bylaw.
Accessory buildings, such as detached garages, have a different setback provision in the Bylaw that would permit them to be closer to the Lane than the principal dwelling on the lot.
Wilhelmina Martin, Port Moody, commented that house size is important when it is not in consideration of neighbours, that building size limitations do not take neighbours into consideration. Ms. Martin encouraged all applicants to discuss their plans with their neighbours.
Ms. Martin also expressed a desire to see examples of the existing versus the proposed methods of grade measurement and how it would make a difference.
Councillor Lahti noted that good neighbour guidelines are being discussed by Council and will be dealt with separately.
Sandy Liles expressed agreement with the notion of discussing plans with neighbours. She asked if staff have looked at specific buildings on Ioco Road to see what kind of a difference the proposed changes to grade calculations would make. Staff noted that some specific examples have been previously presented to Council and those examples can be accessed on the City website.
Ronnie Jagday expressed support for the idea of good neighbour guidelines, noting that there needs to be a balance between grandfathering and new homes, and asked whether there will be any change in Floor Area Ratio (FAR) calculations in terms of including basements in the calculation. Staff explained that FAR includes finished floor area, so unfinished basements are not included, but finished basements are included, noting that this is not proposed to change.
Sandy Liles commented that the proposed changes still do not provide a guarantee that views wonít be obstructed if a neighbour rebuilds.
Councillor Lahti thanked the members of the public for their comments and opened the floor for comments by committee members.
Keir Macdonald asked about the current height restrictions. Staff clarified that the maximum heights havenít changed, but the way those heights will be calculated will be different.
Chris Carter asked staff to advise how the proposed new wording compares to that adopted in other municipalities. Staff explained that grade calculation using the four corners of a lot is used in several other places, as is the proposed height calculation. It was noted that every municipality is different and staff have looked at many others to find the best options for Port Moody.
Councillor Dilworth commented that Council has been dealing with this issue for a long time, noting that each neighbourhood has unique challenges. Councillor Dilworth asked what the potential timeline would be for the upcoming zoning bylaw update. Staff explained that the plan is that introductory amendments as part of the Zoning Bylaw review will be presented to Council before the summer break, with public consultation possibly beginning in the Fall, pending Councilís direction.
Councillor Glumac commented that the proposed changes are the minimum possible at this time, noting that nothing is being proposed around setbacks or house size yet, but that process will be coming.
Councillor Vagramov commented that the proposed changes are a short-term means of dealing with issues and the principles established here will be incorporated in other zones later.


Moved, seconded and CARRIED
THAT proposed City of Port Moody Zoning Bylaw 1988, No.1890, Amendment Bylaw No. 229, 2015, No. 3004, be supported as presented

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