Saanich residents will be able to have their say on bylaw amendments to allow farm stands and garden suites during a Sept. 15 public hearing. (Black Press Media File photo)

Garden suites, roadside farm stands to dominate Saanich public hearing

Residents invited to weigh in on various proposed bylaw amendments

Residents itching to have their say on proposed bylaw amendments to allow garden suites and farm stands in Saanich will be able to speak on both at a public hearing set for next week.

The issues of roadside farm stands and detached garden suites have spent a considerable amount of time in front of council over the past several years and on Sept. 15, residents will have the chance to weigh in on various bylaw amendments that have been proposed to permit both in the district.

At the end of May, council opted to amend the zoning bylaw so that temporary use permits can be issued to those who apply to operate farm stands within the Urban Containment Boundary. At the time, council also agreed to allow those already operating farm stands to continue without enforcement from the District of Saanich until a bylaw amendment is passed. If an amendment is passed by council, those farm stand operators will have 30 days to apply for a temporary use permit.

In August, Saanich council voted to move forward with staff recommendations for permitting garden suites – small, detached rental structures – in the municipality.

At the time, Mayor Fred Haynes said he was “very pleased” to see council supporting a “flexible” housing solution that will permit “multi-generational family living” and aging in place while helping homeowners supplement their mortgages.

During the Sept. 15 public hearing, residents will have the opportunity to phone in and share their thoughts on a zoning bylaw amendment to allow farm stands on residentially zoned properties, a proposed rezoning amendment to permit garden suites on properties zoned for single-family dwellings and an amendment to the Official Community Plan which would create a development permit area for garden suites.

Anyone wishing to speak during the meeting is asked to register by email at council@saanich.ca or by phone at 250-475-5501 before noon on Sept. 14. Public input will also be accepted by written correspondence until noon the day of the hearing.

For more information on the proposed amendments, view the public hearing agenda at saanich.ca.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

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