There are a couple of motions around secondary suites coming to City Council on July 25th, 2016. The first is to look at a plebiscite at the next election for secondary suites. I don’t support this at all. I believe that we have all the information we need to be able to make this decision ourselves, and that the barrier for legalizing secondary suites is actually the 15 people sitting around the Council table. Pushing off our decision making responsibilities is not an appropriate way forward on this issue.
The second motion revolves around dividing the city into three bands or rings with different degrees of permissiveness for suites. In the very inner city, they would be permitted. In the near established neighbourhoods they would be discretionary and in the rest of the city, the process would remain the same, where council reviews each one, one at a time. The motion would also reinstate the fees for applying for a permit. There are a few other proposed changes in this motion but those are the big changes proposed.
I signed this Notice of Motion prior to its submission, and have since done more investigation into what this would mean. I have also heard from a lot of people about it sharing their thoughts. And I have to say, I agree with the people I have been hearing from, this motion would actually make it worse for those seeking to build a secondary suite on their property. My goal has always been to make it easier for people to develop a suite, ultimately anywhere in the city. As such, this motion being a step backward, is not one that I can support.
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