I read with interest the article by Connie Jordison on “How might Sechelt’s new zoning bylaw affect Housing Affordability?”
Emergency Action Table members questioned whether the increased housing density in certain zones will result in improved housing affordability. While they may be prepared to write a letter of support, I have doubts.
I live in West Sechelt on a parcel slightly larger than 900 square metres. The proposed new zoning bylaw would apply an R2 zone, which would permit three dwellings – i.e. a principal dwelling, and both an attached accessory dwelling with no size limitations and a detached accessory dwelling of 90 square metres.
I understood from the minutes of the April 13 committee of the whole meeting, that a suite and an accessory dwelling with an on-site resident could be used for short-term residential rentals and not be considered commercial. If this is the case, their numbers in the R2 zone would not be limited to the 15 district-wide proposed for commercial ones.
If I were to develop my property to the full capacity for short-term rentals, the views of my neighbours behind me would be largely obliterated, and my front yard would be turned into a parking lot for the required seven spaces. While the visual and traffic impacts would be significant, this would likely be more lucrative than providing rental housing.
If council is serious about housing affordability and availability, and in decreasing the impacts of short-term residential rentals, they would not be considering an increase in density to be used for short-term residential rentals.