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

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

Sooke couple that owned Sooke Harbour House given $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Local MP Elizabeth May likes aspects of throne speech, but questions execution

According to May nobody is as ‘reckless’ as BC’s John Horgan in dismissing snap election

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read