The biggest changes include allowing secondary suites within all single detached homes in the city, as well as what are called secondary dwellings or coach houses, and carriage house dwellings such as an apartment over a garage.

Also, after well over a decade, some restrictions would be lifted for existing homes within the West Quesnel Land Stability area.

Tanya Turner, the Director of Development Services, explains…

“The policy has changed in two ways. The development permit area provides greater allowance for the building inspector to look for re-investment in the existing development sites. This removes that 25 percent requirement for existing developments to be required to meet 25 percent of the existing value of the property before they can build again. This removal will allow people to reinvest in their homes. The policy is also going to allow consideration of accessory buildings on all of the lots that have existing buildings.”

Turner says new development on vacant lots is still not permitted without a favourable geotechnical report.

Hens and bees would also be permitted under the proposed plan…

“There is a maximum of four hens permitted per lot. For beekeeping, there is a maximum of two beehives on a parcel of land that is less than 929 meters squared, and there is a maximum of four beehives on a parcel of an area more than 929 meters squared.”

First Nations would also be recognized for the first time in the Official Community Plan…

“This is the first time the OCP has had a separate section regarding First Nations collaboration. This is an added section to ensure there is recognition of First Nations, and that we have some set policies that signals to our First Nation partners that we are here and ready to work with them on building reconciliation.”

Quesnel City Council gave first reading to the new bylaw last night paving the way for public consultation.

That includes a community open house on November 21st.