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HomeNewsWilliams Lake Council Approves Contentious Bylaw On Secondary Suites at 375 Mandarino...

Williams Lake Council Approves Contentious Bylaw On Secondary Suites at 375 Mandarino Place

A Williams Lake Councillor believes that she made the right decision in voting yes to allow secondary suites at 375 Mandarino Place.

“It was definitely an interesting evening and emotional,” Laurie Walters said Wednesday.

“For me at the end of the day, I based my decision on the bigger picture for the community of Williams Lake. Bottom line is we need more housing in our community.”

Walters who also works as a GP for Me Coordinator with the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice, says it’s very difficult to find housing for professionals in the current market.

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She adds that she’s lived in the same house with a mixed neighborhood of homeowners for 32 years and that when she heard the comments, not in my backyard, her question is why not?

Councillor Jason Ryll who said addressing housing is no easy task also voted in favor of the motion with Councillors Sue Zacharias and Scott Nelson.

“I think Council is in a difficult position to make a decision. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t so you have to try to find some ground,” said Councillor Ivan Bonnell who voted against the zoning amendment with Councillor Craig Smith and Mayor Walt Cobb.

“At the end of the day I have to come down to this neighborhood and the wishes of the owners of that strata property, and from the presentations that I’ve received two-thirds of the owners don’t wish to receive this.”

Arguments were heard from both sides during the two hour public hearing with concerns on parking, property values, and lot sizes with some even stating flat out that secondary suites are not welcomed in their neighborhood pointing out that there are at least five illegal suites within the area.

Others meanwhile argued the need for affordable housing within Williams Lake and the current lack of it.

Proponent Eric Boucher who owns 3Gen Cabinetry with his son Tyler said he was happy with Council’s decision.

“Like Tyler mentioned earlier, we had something come up available and he had 35 requests for that residence, and we rented to people that had been in hotels two to three months waiting, trying to find something decent in Williams Lake.”

There are only two lots available within the strata at this time according to Boucher noting that the rest of the properties have not yet been developed.

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