Some potential changes in Coldstream are up for public review.
A rewrite of the district’s zoning bylaw includes allowing more suites, urban chickens and increasing the minimum lot size allowed for agricultural subdivision.
“We want to make sure that what we have takes care of the community,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.
To review the changes, the public is invited to an open house Tuesday, June 26 from 3-8 p.m. at the Women’s Institute Hall.
“It hasn’t been done in a long time and we want to get some feedback from people to see what the concerns are and if we need to make any changes,” said Garlick.
One area is reducing preserving agricultural land for farming by limiting the size and location of large homes that are being constructed on small agricultural land reserve properties.
“Where pieces of agricultural property are bought and mansions are put on them, in locations that aren’t the best location,” said Garlick, as the new zoning bylaw will increase the minimum subdivision lot size from fives acres to 25 (or two hectares to 10) in order to preserve agricultural land for farming.
You might also see more urban chickens in Coldstream with the changes.
“You might not want to see them up on Middleton Mountain necessarily on those smaller lots,” said Garlick. “But a larger area in the rural area, that might be a little more acceptable.”
Coldstream also looked at zoning for rentals — both long and short term.
“We would allow suites to be put in but it would be through a rezoning process,” said Garlick, adding that council didn’t think it was necessary to provide a zone for Airbnbs as they are short term.
Part of the process stems from changes and growth in the area, as the district continues to grow with increased agricultural operations such as cherry and apple production, plus the construction of the Vegpro plant.
“Thirteen years ago when I got on council I don’t think anyone would have foreseen this happening in the community,” said Garlick of the Vegpro facility and increased farming. “I take no credit for it. We have water, we have good soils, we have good climate and so people are seeking it out.”