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Sechelt approves TUP for rental housing development

Addressing construction challenges, Sechelt council's latest move grants temporary storage solution to Innovation Building

District of Sechelt Council has granted a temporary use permit (TUP) to allow Innovation Building Group to store materials on three lots in West Sechelt during the construction of a neighbouring rental housing development. 

The TUP application, approved at the March 20 council meeting, states that the limited space at 5680 Ebbtide Street has become a hindrance, and requests a two-year term based on the timeline of the project. 

The properties under the TUP, 5686 Wharf Ave, 5694 Wharf Ave and 5700 East Porpoise Bay Road, will be used to set up a site office, store equipment and vehicles and allow employees to park.

Coun. Adam Shepherd asked if there were any bylaws relating to sound from construction or temporary lighting being installed in the TUP regulations. 

Ian Holl, development planning manager answered that the noise bylaw applies to TUPs and clarified that these permits do not propose any exceptions.

He also said that there is nothing specific in the TUP regulations regarding lighting and that specific provisions could be incorporated if concerns arise. 

Holl added that the majority of the activity on the lots would be employee parking, with the construction taking place on the actual development site on Ebbtide Street, and that it will have less activity on-site than the TUP for a prefabricated wall assembly area approved earlier in March

Coun. Dianne McLauchlan asked for clarification on the cost the district charges for TUPs.

Holl said that there is an application fee of $1,800 as well as a $10,000 security deposit taken to ensure that the site is remediated to its original condition once the permit expires.

Henderson asked how the district can regulate security bonds on property that they do not own. Holl explained that is what staff have done for several years with their development permits to ensure conditions are met and that this process was adapted similarly for the TUP regulations. 

Concerned that the sites will become unsightly, and reiterating that council is “under the gun” to build more housing, McLauchlan said they were “allowing this developer to drag their heels by using one site and another,” adding that she is concerned the sites may be contaminated from older homes that used oil tanks. 

Coun. Adam Shepherd supported the TUP and proposed an amendment to add dark sky compliance that will regulate lighting. 

Council voted to add the amendment to include dark sky compliance, then subsequently voted to approve the TUP, with McLauchlan opposed to both motions. 

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.