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 survey shows third of respondents did not pay, or partially paid rent for April

Survey of 70 respondents says 40 per cent expect they will not be able to pay May rent

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Pandemic contributes to scarce supply, advocates worried about potential impact on the streets

BC Transit extends free fare, installs vinyl barriers in some buses

Free fare will now be offered until April 30

Paramedics called to Oak Bay golf course as man crashes bike into sand trap

Oak Bay police respond to social distance concerns

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read