Affordable housing issues raised

Christine Wood/Staff Writer / Staff writer
March 2, 2014 01:00 AM

Concerns over how the District of Sechelt leverages affordable housing from developers was the topic of discussion when a rezoning application for a clustered housing development on Tower Road came forward Feb. 19.

As currently written, the Tower Road development would have to provide five residential units to the District by way of an affordable housing agreement.

"Do we want to get into controlling housing -the District? Do we want to get into the meat of defining rents and the price of affordability, or do we want to create an environment where there is lots of affordable housing?" Coun. Chris Moore asked.

Coun. Mike Shanks said he would rather see developers pay money into a fund that the District could use to create affordable housing projects in the future.

Not wanting to derail the development (which first came to council in 2012), councillors decided to pass the zoning amendment needed and give three readings to the housing agreement before asking staff for more information on other possible affordable housing options.

Target clarification

Director of development services Ray Parfitt told council his numbers were off when he tallied the total speakers at the public hearing for Target Marine Hatcheries on Jan. 29.

In Parfitt's staff report on Jan. 30 it was stated that 15 people spoke and 10 written submissions were received.

Later the Tuwanek Rate-payers Association noted 20 people presented verbal submissions and nine gave written submissions.

"It's got no bearing at all whatsoever on the efficacy of the hearing," Parfitt said. "I think what happened with respect to my count, your worship, was that there were new people who came up, as you recall, towards the end, and I just missed them when I was doing my notes."

After council accepted the ratepayers' numbers, they passed the official community plan and zoning bylaw amendments needed for Target Marine Hatcheries to begin harvesting different types of finfish and shellfish and to start an aquaponics venture on site.

Weston visits

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country MP John Weston was on the Coast Feb. 19 and took time to visit with council.

He talked about the positives in the federal government's newly announced budget and noted his initiative, National Health and Fitness Day, might be celebrated Canada-wide this year.

"You're a leader in this. You're one of the very first to declare a National Health and Fitness Day, but right across the country, we're up to 71 cities," Weston said.

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