A rezoning of residential property near Guerin Creek to allow for a multi-family housing co-operative will proceed to a public hearing.
Council approved a staff recommendation on Tuesday to hear public concerns about a proposed development by RareBirds Housing Cooperative.
The project requires an amendment to allow a single-family dwelling to be occupied by 12 residents provided the building meets specific criteria for footprint and setback. The subject property is located at 772 Battle St. West. The site is on vacant land overlooking the creek.
The site-specific amendment is required because the housing co-op doesn’t meet the bylaw’s definition of family, said Marvin Kwiatkowski, development and engineering services director.
The bylaw defines a family as “an individual or two or more persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption/foster care agreement sharing one dwelling or three or less unrelated persons sharing one dwelling.”
Coun. Marg Spina said the co-op represents an innovative approach to affordable housing and the evolving needs of adults as they age. The official community plan directs the City to support innovation and flexibility in the provision of housing.
“It is a brave new world out there,” she said. “I’m in support of it going to a public hearing so that people can comment on this new trend,” she said.
The project will need a housing agreement as well to prohibit the renting of individual rooms.
“We do not want it to become a rooming house,” Kwiatkowski said.