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Secondary suite decision in Olds postponed

MPC wants to research town bylaws over concerns about setting a precedent
mvt Olds town office-1
File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS — The Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) has received a couple applications for secondary suites and is concerned about what impact those suites could have on housing density in town.

So during its May 20 meeting, the commission postponed a decision on at least one such application until its June 17 meeting so commissioners can research what town bylaws say about secondary suites and what the implications of approving them would be.

A secondary suite is a home – sometimes constructed apart from an adjacent one, sometimes attached – which the owner makes available to someone else. In many cases, family members create them for aging relatives.

"Our concern as a commission was how far do we go with letting people make secondary suites and is it the right density to do that,” MPC chair Rudy Durieux said during an interview.

“So we decided just to wait, because we want to investigate where we are sitting with the bylaws that council has passed.” 

Durieux indicated that the commission is aware that there are lots of secondary suites in other communities. 

And there’s a feeling that there are going to be more such applications as people age and may not want to move into continuing care facilities.

“We don’t necessarily want to set a precedent,” Durieux said. “In the meantime, as the chairman, I encouraged our members of the commission – including the (town) councillors – just to take a look at the bylaws that are in place, so we can make some kind of appropriate decision and you know, be fair to everybody.

 “It’s important that the commission – when these things come before us – that we are informed and make the right decisions for the benefit of all involved.”


Doug Collie

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