A former mayor of Harrison Hot Springs was almost the sole voice speaking up against a zoning bylaw in that community on Monday night.
John Allen spoke against the bylaw for three seven minute time allotments, during the second public hearing for bylaw 1020. The bylaw has had two readings and one public hearing already, held Nov. 19. On receiving a report on that hearing, council made several amendments, resulting in the second hearing. If the bylaw receives a third reading by council and is passed, it will replace the current bylaw 672, which defines zoning within the Village.
Allen stated his opposition to several points in the proposed bylaw, stating first his opposition to the time allowed for public comments.
“I object to the process because I don’t believe seven minutes a reasonable time for comment on a bylaw this (large),” he said.
He also believes there is nothing wrong with bylaw 672, which has been in effect since 1992, with amendments.
“The only thing I can see that really changes is the graphics,” he said. “All you really needed to do was add new schedules. I don’t see all this work as necessary. It’s just 672 rehashed and it didn’t need to be rehashed.”
The bylaw, he said, conflicts with the Official Community Plan — a document he had a hand in creating.
“It’s as if an OCP doesn’t exist,” he said. “I take offense to that because I’m one of the ones who did the work on the OCP.”
As he moved into his second seven-minute allotment, Allen questioned staff about the elimination of some regulations regarding setbacks. Staff explained that the bylaw would refer to current provincial standards, and that including those standards word for word would mean changing the bylaw whenever the provincial government changed its regulations.
When staff answered his final questions, Allen asked the chair, Mayor Leo Facio if he had a chance for rebuttal. He was told no, and the meeting was officially ended.
The bylaw will be presented to staff “at the next appropriate council meeting,” Facio said. The next regular council meeting in Harrison Hot Springs is on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Village office.