Cumberland OCP moving forward

Official Community Plan bylaw advances to third reading

Cumberland council voted 3-2 Monday to give third reading to the draft Official Community Plan bylaw.

Couns. Gwyn Sproule and Roger Kishi and Mayor Leslie Baird voted to move forward with the OCP revision process, while Couns. Conner Copeman and Kate Greening were opposed.

Concerns around residential land use designations brought up at the April 15 public hearing prompted Monday’s discussion.

According to the OCP future land use map (Map A on the Village of Cumberland website), areas designated residential have been broken into two groups: ‘residential infill’ in the area within a 10-minute walk to the commercial core, and ‘residential’ in areas further away.

Some public hearing attendees were concerned detached secondary residences would not be allowed in the areas designated ‘residential’ with increased density focused on the core areas marked ‘residential infill.’

After questions about this concern from council, village senior planner Judith Walker stressed the OCP is different than zoning.

“Some of the questions that came up at the public hearing were very clearly about zoning issues,” she said, pointing to page 26 of the OCP which defines the development intent of ‘residential’ as including “single-detached and multiple dwellings in accordance with the Village’s Zoning Bylaw.”

Continued Walker: “So it’s already making allowances; it’s already discussing ‘multiple dwellings.’

“It is left to the zoning bylaw to (say) what size property is it appropriate to have a secondary house, when is it appropriate to have a coach house…”

The village zoning bylaws are expected to be updated after the OCP revision process is complete.

In an interview with the Record, Walker added the OCP is a broad, guiding document, and again said though infill is encouraged in the ‘residential infill’ designation, that doesn’t mean it’s not allowed the ‘residential’ designation.

Greening said she read the OCP as saying infill would need to be done first in the ‘residential infill’ area, before infill could happen in the ‘residential’ area. She made a motion to amend the OCP to make all residential areas, ‘residential infill.’

But, a significant amendment like that would mean the bylaw went back to second reading and another public hearing would be scheduled.

Couns. Kishi and Sproule expressed concern about delaying the process, with both noting the public consultation has been exhaustive to date, (the revision process was first started in January 2013 with public consultation throughout).

They also said they trusted village staff’s response that the ‘residential’ area resident concerns could be addressed via updating the zoning bylaw.

Copeman and Greening voted in favour of Greening’s motion, but it was defeated with the rest of council voting against it. Sproule then moved to give third reading to the OCP and it was approved, with Copeman and Greening opposed.

The OCP will be sent to the Province for approval, which could take one to three months. It is expected come back to council for fourth and final reading once approved by the Province.