By Lyonel Doherty
The much-amended, much-tinkered with zoning bylaw for the Town of Oliver is finally going to public hearing.
But don’t get too excited; it’s not exactly Pulitzer Prize-winning reading material.
However, there’s bound to be something that will impact you.
On Monday, contract planner Chris Garrish presented the bylaw for first reading, which was approved with a public hearing date set for June 25 in council chambers at 7 p.m.
Some highlights of the bylaw include adding a number of permitted uses to the TC (Town Centre) zone, such as child care centre and apartment building. Garrish said apartment buildings constructed on Station Street are not required to provide ground floor retail uses.
The bylaw also creates a new Airport (AP) Zone, and establishes a 75-metre setback from Tucelnuit Lake over the area of land that the Town intends to acquire for parkland purposes.
Cannabis dispensaries will be allowed in the TC and Highway Commercial (C2) zones; the requirement for on-site bicycle parking spaces has been deleted from the bylaw; and gravel crushing is included as a permitted use in the General Industrial (M1) Zone.
Recent correspondence from the Okanagan Regional Library expresses concern about siting non-family friendly businesses (such as cannabis stores) next to libraries.
Chief Executive Officer Don Nettleton said the library board believes consideration should be given to surrounding businesses in order to avoid adjacency to incompatible uses.
Nettleton said the board asks its member municipalities to be cognizant of this when creating land-use bylaws. Therefore, it is asking the Town of Oliver to treat this “no cannabis proximity” issue in the same context as schools, day care facilities and youth centres (that would not be operating next to non-family friendly establishments).
Town Councillor Dave Mattes said there has been a lot of discussion about this.
“A lot of it is fear. People don’t really know what to expect.”
Mattes said the library board merely wants municipalities to be aware of this issue when setting zoning rules.