The District of Kent is considering changes to its parking requirements, which would allow business owners to offer less parking if they were opening a new business that didn’t have quite enough. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Parking reductions OK’d for new businesses in Agassiz

Businesses going into a building that require a ‘change of use’ no longer need to add extra parking

People looking to start up a new business in downtown Agassiz won’t have to worry quite as much about how much parking they have to provide.

On Monday (July 22), Kent council approved a new parking bylaw that would allow new businesses to provide less parking than they would have before.

The main change is for businesses moving into existing spaces in downtown Agassiz.

Under the previous rules, a commercial building that undergoes a “change of use” (like a retail store that is turned into a restaurant) was required to bring in more parking so it conformed to the district’s zoning bylaw.

This, staff said, made it difficult for businesses like restaurants to expand or start up in many buildings downtown, as restaurants require more parking spaces than most other retail or service industries.

The new rules, approved Monday, will allow most people to start a businesses with the existing number of spaces, regardless of how many that business type is supposed to have.

RELATED: Kent reconsiders parking requirements for downtown

Director of development services Darcey Kohuch did note that this parking exemption would only apply for up to two spaces, so “a restaurant doesn’t go crazy with their seating and create a parking issue.”

“It gives a little more flexibility for someone starting up a business, if they want to start something up, then they don’t get hindered financially. They at least get forgiven for two parking spaces for changing a use on an existing commercial zone,” he said.

The new rules also mean that new buildings being constructed for commercial use in downtown Agassiz will have a 35 per cent reduction on the number of parking spaces they’re required to provide. This will come into effect for all building uses other than hotels, motels, service stations and vehicle sales.

These rules would apply for the Agassiz townsite, and primarily affect businesses on Pioneer and Cheam Avenues.

The Ministry of Transportation would not sign off on the bylaw unless it included a clause that said businesses on provincial highways would have to abide by the ministry’s parking requirements.

As most businesses do not have their parking on Highway 9, staff felt this would not be a major change to the bylaw or create significant impacts to business owners.

Council voted unanimously in favour of the parking changes.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

No dramatic increase for water, sewer fees in Agassiz secondary suites

Kent had considered increasing secondary suite fees to match that of single-family residences

Bizarre ‘hole punch cloud’ forms over Chilliwack

Several people posted images of the odd formation, which is scientifically known as a cavum

New playground surface possible for Agassiz’s Schep Park

The District of Kent will be applying for two grants to cover the $90K project

Christmas Seals campaign helps British Columbians breathe easier

One in five Canadians have lung disease such as COPD or asthma

Westbound Highway 1 crash in Langley

Accident occurred just west of 264th Street shortly before 6 a.m.

Agassiz’s Dickens Tea sells out for seventh year

The annual holiday event saw visitors enjoy high tea and historic talks

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

10,000 affordable rentals a year needed to tackle Metro Vancouver housing crisis: report

The report focused on building government-funded housing, rather than relying on the private sector

Most Read