Amending the zoning bylaw

In discussions with several residents about my post on gated communities, I learned that the restriction on “gated” communities comes from a 2010 zoning bylaw. You can read about the bylaw on the town’s website, or jump right into the 182-page document here. It took me a bit of time to find this document on the town’s byzantine website.

The bylaw states in section 4.1 Prohibited Uses:

Unless provided elsewhere in this Zoning By-law, the following uses shall be prohibited:
i. A parking or security booth accessory to a residential use, or a gate into a residential condominium corporation.

But in section 4.28 Special Yard Encroachments, it states:

4.28.A parking booth or a security booth, accessory to a non-residential main use, may be erected in any required yard provided that the parking booth or security booth does not exceed a maximum height of 4.5 m and a maximum ground floor area of 4.5 m2.

That strikes me as a contradiction: a security device may be erected for non-residential use, but not to protect a condominium on a private road. I will recommend the bylaw be amended to remove the restrictions in 4..7 to allow condos to have a security booth or gate as they wish, similar to those permitted for non-residential uses.

The bylaw was first passed on April 12, 2010, and I frankly can’t recall all the discussions around it. After all, it is 182 pages of dense technical material (the table of contents alone is four pages long!) and deals with a wide range is zoning and planning issues, regulations, permissions, exceptions, restrictions, clarifications, definitions, penalties, heritage, signs, floodplain, setbacks, parking, lot size, and more. I suspect it took several hours for the council of the day to go through even a summary of its contents.

I cannot recall any discussion of or justification for the security gate restrictions at the time. but regardless, things have changed in the interim and a need for such security has proven itself. It’s time to listen to the needs of the property owners and amend the bylaw.

NB: Some of the other restrictions (such as minimum lot sizes and setbacks) in this zoning bylaw will also have to be amended to allow for the construction of “tiny houses” should the town agree to pursue them as a partial solution to our housing deficit (see my previous post on housing). Perhaps some of these issues should also be addressed in the town’s Official Plan (you can still comment on the OP here).

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