Candidates considered re-zoning as possibly solution to affordable housing issue
Smithers All Candidates meeting Mayoral and Council candidates | By Sawyer Bogdan
The solution to the housing problem in Smithers could be in re-zoning unused narrow lots.
At the Smithers, All Candidates meeting Wednesday Phil Brienesse, Frank Wray, Ryan Zapisocki, and John Buikema all agreed that repurposing small lots was one way for the town to address the affordable housing problem.
Allowing for carriage houses and laneway homes are some of the ways incumbent council Brienesse says the council has already started addressing the issue.
“Right now the bylaws state you need to have a minimum of 50-foot frontage we can look at changing that and having narrow homes that would be lower costs, take up existing space, and not result in a bunch of infrastructures needed to support those houses,” says Brienesse
Incumbent council Wray adds that by adding the skinny houses it helps keep taxes down which also befits renters.
Council Candidate, Casda Thomas says a larger strategy is still needed to address the issue, specifically in updating the towns zoning bylaws.
“If we want to encourage good development we need good developers to see a path for their development,” she says, adding “I don’t want them to see a path that sees them having to go through a lengthy process that we have already said as a community fits our vision.”