Secondary suites should be on agenda

MONDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — Some of the most productive work by City council gets done at its workshops. They give councillors an opportunity to examine topics in more depth than is usually the case at regular council meetings.

They’re like committee-of-the-whole sessions. No decisions are made, at least not formally, but by the time workshop issues are brought forward to regular meetings the members of council are well-versed in them.

Tomorrow will bring on another workshop, with three topics — garbage collection, city centre revitalization and the transit system. All worthy of discussion.

But a fourth important topic is missing — secondary suites. Council keeps putting off this important issue and it’s time it was dealt with. The process by which council deals with applications for secondary suites is in need of a major overhaul, which is long overdue.

The current one-off system lacks consistency and is an invitation to neighbourhood discontent. Council shouldn’t be dealing with secondary suites at all. Many other cities allow secondary suites in all single-family zoning as long as they meet certain conditions.

Kamloops council, on the other hand, leaves itself in the uncomfortable position of having to make decisions on them based on neighbourhood input. Sometimes they’re approved, sometimes not.

A report on garbage collection on Tuesday’s workshop agenda is strictly for information. No major changes are going to be made. It’s also unlikely council will tackle a bus-fare increase in an election year. The city centre revitalization topic is simply a discussion of the tax exemption bylaw.

Any one of them — especially the first and third topics — could have been put off for another workshop. Council should stop putting off secondary suites.

About Mel Rothenburger (6803 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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