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At tonight’s District of North Vancouver Council meeting Council will discuss amendments to the use of “Temporary Use Permits.” In the following article Corrie Kost, a long time observer of District Council raises some very serious concerns about the impact of this bylaw. He notes, for example, that “Empty lots could be turned into parking lots. Residential homes could be used as sales centres (despite violating the cardinal rule that such a use should not create extra vehicular traffic to the residence!). Residential homes could be turned into short – term, or even daily, vacation rental homes. Etc.
Corrie wishes to stress these are his personal views and not those of any organization.
Legislative changes enacted in 1985 granted local governments across British Columbia the ability to issue “Temporary Use Permits” (TUP).These permits could beused to make a short-term exception to the zoningof a property and allow for an industrial or commercial use to occur on a site.
In 2010, further legislative changes increased the time period that a TUP could be valid for (from 2 to 3 years), and also removed the restriction on TUPs being used only for commercial or industrial uses, meaning permits could now be considered for residential, institutional and agricultural uses, etc.
A Temporary Use Permit is seen to provide—in certain circumstances—a more flexible option than rezoning, particularly when Council is being asked to consider a transitional use or a use where uncertainty exists respecting its appropriateness or long-term viability.
From a philosophical standpoint exceptions to any general rule (say zoning) should be applied with common sense as the need arises. However a blanket rule to allow non-specified exceptions,under non-specified guidelines and, thereafter without due process, is unwarranted in a free and democratic society.
The first bulleted item of page 31 of the staff report“designates the entire District as a Temporary Use Permit area”On page 32 it states that the bylaw would “exclude delegation
of TUPs in single-family (RS-zoned) neighbourhoods which are located outside of the four key centres”.
This only means that council, not staff would make the decision of TUP in residential units outside of the centres. Thus after a public hearing on bylaw 8217, if adopted, would give council the authority to allow any specified future uses for a period of 3/6 years on any property in the DNV WITHOUT ANY FURTHER PUBLIC HEARINGS.
So, to re-iterate – with the adoption of this bylaw council would have the authority, by resolution at a public meeting, to issue Temporary Use Permits to allow any temporary uses on virtually any property. For example the commercial rental of any single family residential unit would be allowed without any public hearing requirements for a period of 3/6 years. Rentals of cabins built in the wilderness areas of the DNV could also be permitted as council sees fit – again without a public hearing. Large DNV single family home properties could apply to have a campground on their lands – again without any public hearing of such change in use. Empty lots could be turned into parking lots. Residential homes could be used as sales centres (despite violating the cardinal rule that such a use should not create extra vehicular traffic to the residence!). Residential homes could be turned into short – term, or even daily, vacation rental homes. Etc.
It appears that multi – family units, under the Strata Act, would be the only residential form, either in or outside the town/village centres, that could resist such new uses if the strata council voted against such use(s).
Section 920.2(a) of the LGA enables local governments to designate temporary commercial and industrial use permit areas and specify general conditions regarding their issue, in either an OCP or a zoning bylaw.
It should be noted that since the existing OCP does not mention the word “temporary”, much less TUP, it thus does not need to include any required policy directions with respect to TUPs.
The owner can use the TUP land in accordance with the terms of the permit until the expiration date or three years after issuance of a permit, whichever comes first. Failure to meet conditions may lead to revocation. Permits may be renewed only once for an additional three year term. Conditions of a temporary use permit are binding on all existing and future owners during the time period specified in a permit.
Note that either after 3 or 6 years of “temporary” use of any site such additional uses would no longer be allowed. However a new application with new “temporary” additional uses could be allowed. There is thus no absolute hard time limit on the “temporary” use of a specific site.
What one should ask:
1. What is the real need of this bylaw?
2. What problems is this bylaw trying to address?
3. Do a handful of anticipated TUP require such a blanket bylaw?
4. Is the potential anxiety of our community worth the benefits to a few?
This bylaw seems to be a solution in search of a problem. I thus urge council to restrict the blanket TUP bylaw by excluding its applicability to any residential uses outside the designated town centres and villages. An even better democratic choice is for council to fully reject this blanket bylaw and consider any future TUP on its own – each with a subsequent public hearing.
Designation of temporary use permit areas 920.2 For the purposes of section 921, (a) an official community plan, or (b) a zoning bylaw may designate areas where temporary uses may be allowed and may specify general conditions regarding the issue of temporary use permits in those areas.
Temporary use permits
921(1) On application by an owner of land, a local government may issue a temporary use permit (a) by resolution, in relation to land within an area designated under section 920.2, or
(b) by bylaw, in relation to land within an area outside a municipality, if there is no official community plan in effect for the area.
(2) [Repealed 2000-7-167.]
(3) A temporary use permit may do one of the following:
(a) allow a use not permitted by a zoning bylaw;
(b) specify conditions under which the temporary use may be carried on;
(c) allow and regulate the construction of buildings or structures in respect of the use for which the permit is issued.
(4) If a local government proposes to pass a resolution allowing a temporary use permit to be issued, it must give notice in accordance with subsections (5) and (6).
(5) The notice must
(i) in general terms, the purpose of the proposed permit,
(ii) the land or lands that are the subject of the proposed permit,
(iii) the place where and the times and dates when copies of the proposed
permit may be inspected, and
(iv) the date, time and place when the resolution will be considered, and
(b) be published in a newspaper at least 3 and not more than 14 days before the adoption of the resolution to issue the permit.
(6) Section 892 (4) to (7) applies to the notice.
(7) Sections 890, 891, 892, 894 and 913 apply to a bylaw under subsection (1) (b).
(8) As a condition of the issue of a permit, a local government may require the owner of the land to give an undertaking to
(a) demolish or remove a building or structure, and
(b) restore land described in the permit to a condition specified in the permit by a date specified in the permit.
(9) An undertaking under subsection (8) must be attached to and forms part of the permit.
(10) If the owner of the land fails to comply with all of the undertakings given under subsection
(8), the local government may enter on the land and carry out the demolition, removal or restoration at the expense of the owner.
(11) The owner of land in respect of which a temporary use permit has been issued has the right to put the land to the use described in the permit until
(a) the date that the permit expires, or
(b) 3 years after the permit was issued, whichever occurs first.
(12) In addition to any security required under section 925 (1), a local government may require, as a condition of issuing the permit, that the owner of the land give to the local government security to guarantee the performance of the terms of the permit, and the permit may provide for
(a) the form of the security, and
(b) the means for determining
(i) when there is default under the permit, and
(ii) the amount of the security that forfeits to the local government in the event of default.
(13) A person to whom a temporary use permit has been issued may apply to have the permit renewed, and subsections (8) to (12) apply.
(14) A permit issued under this section may be renewed only once.
(15) If a local government delegates the power to issue a temporary use permit under this section, the owner of land that is subject to the decision of the delegate is entitled to have the local government reconsider the matter.
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