Council chambers were packed during the Jan. 20 meeting while council discussed the issue of unrelated occupancy limits. (Teale Phelps Bondaroff/Twitter)

Public hearing on unrelated occupancy limits to take place at Saanich Municipal Hall on a Saturday

Council seeks to make the hearing accessible to all residents

Saanich council has decided to host the public hearing on the potential unrelated occupancy limit increase on a Saturday so more residents can attend.

The issue of roommate limits has been a controversial topic in Saanich since it was brought to council in early 2019. After reviewing a staff report in January, council agreed to move to a public hearing to consider the option to increase the number of unrelated occupants allowed in a home from four to six.

At the Feb. 24 meeting, council was presented with a report from staff outlining the reasons why the public hearing should be held at Municipal Hall, not in the Gordon Head neighbourhood as was originally proposed by council.

Staff considered three facilities to host the hearing: Mount Douglas Secondary School, the Gordon Head Recreation Centre and ArtsCalibre Academy.

However, it was determined that the costs for an off-site meeting – between $3,950 and $5,641, according to the report – were too high and webcasting the meeting for residents at home wouldn’t be an option. The report concluded that the public hearing should be held at Municipal Hall.

Coun. Nathalie Chambers was vocal about supporting the staff recommendation as there are transit stops near the Municipal Hall and free parking, and webcasting equipment would be readily available.

Coun. Colin Plant amended the motion to include that the hearing be held on a Saturday in an effort to “be as inclusive as possible.”

He explained that the affected students made it clear that they cannot attend a hearing on a weeknight due to homework.

Plant also suggested that the hearing run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in anticipation of attendance being high, and staff confirmed that a weekend hearing would never be scheduled in the evening.

Despite staffing implications, council unanimously agreed to schedule the public hearing on a Saturday at Municipal Hall. District staff will report back to council with date options based on council and staff availability.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank receives more than $5,000 from local organizations

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read