Sooke forging ahead with proposed regulations to allow mobile home in all rural areas

Councillors approve bylaw amendment and instructs staff to hold a public hearing

Sooke is pushing ahead with proposed zoning regulations to allow manufactured homes in all rural areas of the municipality.

Councillors this week approved a bylaw amendment and instructed staff to hold a public hearing on March 12.

Coun. Rick Kasper called the proposed amendment a move toward allowing more “affordable housing options,” while Coun. Brenda Parkinson recommended councillors hold off on the changes.

“We have to make every effort to remove the stigma associated with the past definition of a mobile home. I think it’s important for us to move forward with affordable housing options,” Kasper said.

Parkinson argued the situation is reminiscent of other legislation where council forged ahead, and was then forced to come back months later to make further fixes.

“We do not take the time to look at what we’re doing before we go and make these decisions,” she said. “I’d like to see us do this correctly the first time.”

Parkinson suggested postponement pending a more thorough analysis by staff, pointing out she isn’t in favour of blanket zoning.

But councillors didn’t agree to further delay and decided to move ahead with the introduction of the bylaw.

Coun. Ebony Logins said any manufactured homes which are part of the bylaw must abide by the B.C. Building Code.

“There’s no difference between them and the other homes that are in the zones,” Logins said.

Under the proposed zoning amendment, a manufactured home will be allowed in rural residential zones, as long as its a primary residence.

District staff say they do not support spot zoning as a best practice to deal with zoning issues.

Staff will also meet with a planning consultant to discuss whether it would be appropriate to allow manufactured homes in all residential zones.

The issue came to a head in early December when a Sooke River Road resident applied for a building permit for a property zoned RU2 (rural).

The permit was approved and then rescinded when staff discovered the RU2 zone definition in the zoning bylaw excluded manufactured homes, park model trailers and motor homes.

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