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Initial support given to variances for planned Salmon Arm homes

Applications accommodate construction of home, home with suite and detached suite
A home planned for 1561 60th Ave. NE will include a single-family residence, suite and a shop. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Several variance permit applications for new housing received support from the city’s mayor and councillors.

First on the agenda at Salmon Arm’s Aug. 8 development and planning meeting was a development variance permit (DVP) for a new structure consisting of a single-family dwelling, a secondary suite and a shop at 5161 60th Ave. NE.

The variance requested was to increase the maximum permitted height from 10 metres (32.8 feet) to 12.29 m, (40.32 ft). City planner Morgan Paiement explained one corner of the lot is sloped, affecting the height calculation, creating a larger variance than if the site were flat. The portion of the building exceeding the 10 metre maximum is the shop’s roofline.

Council recognized the variance as being minor; however, Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond and Mayor Alan Harrison advised the applicant of letting neighbours know what’s being proposed.

“It might be a good idea to make sure your neighbours do know, just so when the public hearing happens we’re not caught off guard,” said Harrison. The hearing will take place during the evening of the Aug. 14 council meeting.

Another DVP application was for the construction of a single-family dwelling at 841 28th St. SE. The applicant asked to decrease the 6 m (19.7 ft) minimum exterior side parcel setback to 4.3 m (14.1 ft). Staff noted the parcel is of an irregular shape – narrow with two frontages – and that a variance permit issued for the same property in 2017 has since expired.

Harrison recalled the city working with the property’s owner in the past to “make it work to provide an extra dwelling or residence in the city, and we anticipated there may be some setback challenges at the time.”

Again, the mayor urged the applicant to speak with neighbours. The hearing for this application is also scheduled for Aug. 14.

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Read more: 20-unit residential complex proposed for Salmon Arm’s South Broadview area

Another agenda item involved a requested development variance permit and rezoning for 1581 16th St. NE.

The applicant wishes to construct a residence with a detached suite. To accommodate this, they’ve requested the property be rezoned from R1 (single family residential zone) to R8 (residential suite zone). They’ve also asked for a variance to reduce the minimum parcel width of a parcel with a detached suite, without a lane or second street frontage, from 20 m (65.6 ft) to 19.39 m (63.62 ft).

“I understand why people are trying to build suites,” said Coun. Sylvia Lindgren, supportive of the application. “With the price of houses now, it’s really the only way most people can afford them. To provide another home for a tenant is a great thing that’s happening all over our community.”

Coun. Kevin Flynn said this was another easy-to-support application.

“It’s kind of interesting – I know of communities that don’t allow variances,” said Flynn. “I can’t imagine a world where we can’t use common sense and logic to allow small variances like this - they make things possible… speak to the neighbours though.”

“I think this council and the last one have had about 150 or 160 applications for R8 rezonings and have passed every one of them because we firmly believe, like Coun. Lindgren mentioned, it’s not just for the owner and affordability, but also it gives one more family or one more student or one more senior a place to live here in our city, so I appreciate that,” commented Harrison.

This rezoning/variance application will be on the Aug. 14 council agenda for first and second reading. If those are given, it would then proceed to a public hearing on Aug. 28.
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