By Lyonel Doherty
The Town of Oliver is considering proposed amendments to projections into required setback regulations.
Recently, council heard contract planner Chris Garrish discuss exemptions to prescribed setbacks for minor architectural features on dwellings, such as bay windows and balconies.
But Garrish said it is important to ensure that these exemptions do not undermine the intent of setback rules.
Therefore, these “projections” should be minor in nature. This can be accomplished by limiting the extent of these projected windows and balconies.
For example, limiting the projection to 2.0 metres into a rear setback and no more than 25 per cent of the linear dimensions of the wall from which the projection occurs.
Garrish said there appears to be an element of ambiguity relating to decks and whether they are able to project into a property’s setback. But he noted that decks are not “minor” features because they are structures in their own right with separate footings from the dwelling unit. Therefore, he recommended that decks not be entitled to the same exemptions as balconies.
However, he stated that council could allow decks to project into setbacks if that is the desire. If this is the case, he recommended requiring new decks to not exceed 25 per cent of the length of the façade against which they will be constructed, and that they be enclosed.
In any case, Garrish said the amendments will provide greater clarity for property owners.
Councillor Dave Mattes said they should allow projections as long as they don’t require footings. He added that residents should basically “work within the envelope” of their properties.
Council members agreed to send the matter back to staff for more information before a final decision is made.