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Summergate Village Land Use Contract and R4 Zoning Questions & Answers


Background Information

The Summergate Village Land Use Contract (LUC) Bylaw No. 627 was adopted by the Town of Sidney on July 18, 1978 to regulate land use and development in Summergate Village, a manufactured home park located in southwest Sidney.

A LUC differs from traditional municipal zoning as it is a contractual agreement between a property owner and a local government which appears on the property title, and allows for site-specific land use and development regulations. Summergate Village also has its own land use designation in the Town of Sidney Official Community Plan.

Land use contracts were in use in BC from 1971 to 1978. Although the Summergate Village LUC does not include an expiry date in its text, the provincial government adopted legislation in 2014 that requires all land use contracts in British Columbia to expire on June 30, 2024. (A LUC can also be removed by a municipality prior to this through a bylaw process.) Following this change in legislation, many local governments have been transitioning properties with a LUC to regulation by zoning bylaw.

In 2011, the Town of Sidney developed a new zone, the R4 (Summergate Village) zone, which is intended to apply to Summergate Village when the LUC expires. The R4 zone is incorporated into the Town’s current Zoning Bylaw (Bylaw No. 2015) which currently governs land use and development throughout the rest of Sidney.

The Town understands that current and prospective residents of Summergate Village have questions regarding how this transition will take place and what changes they can expect under the new zoning designation. To answer these questions the Town surveyed Summergate Village residents over the past year and asked them to submit any questions they had to the Town for response. Below is a summary of questions and answers pertinent to the repeal of the Summergate Village Land Use Contract and implementation of the R4 zone in its place.

Note: the LUC is still in place and the R4 zoning has not yet taken effect. The purpose of this Q&A is highlight the differences between the LUC and the R4 zone, and take into account any issues or concerns that Summergate Village may have with the R4 zone prior to it taking effect.

If you feel that one of your questions still requires further explanation, please contact Kevin Webber, Planning Technician, by email at kwebber@sidney.ca or by phone at 250-655-5442 for a more thorough explanation.

Questions & Answers

  1. When will the Summergate Village LUC expire?
  2. What new policies, bylaws, development permits and plans will Summergate Village fall under when the LUC expires?
  3. What are the permitted and conditional uses allowed in the R4 zone?
  4. Are there new building regulations under the R4 zone?
  5. Will there be different regulations for uncovered sundecks and porches under the Zoning Bylaw?
  6. Will there be different regulations for sheds and greenhouses under the Zoning Bylaw?
  7. Will there be different regulations for landscaping under the Zoning Bylaw?
  8. Will carports be permitted to be enclosed under the Zoning Bylaw?
  9. Would the Town allow manufactured homes in Summergate Village under the Zoning Bylaw? What about permanent homes with foundations?
  10. Would the existing configuration of homes and properties in Summergate Village conform to the regulations within the R4 zone?
  11. Does the expiration of the existing Summergate Village Land Use Contract mean that any land or infrastructure within Summergate Village will now be owned or maintained by the Town?
  12. Will there be any changes to the financial costs of owning a property in Summergate Village under the new R4 zoning?
  13. Will Summergate Village remain a bareland strata?
  14. Will the age of residents and the number of occupants permitted to live in a dwelling unit in Summergate Village remain restricted?
  15. Would two-storey homes be permitted by the Town of Sidney in Summergate Village under the R4 zoning?
  16. Can the R4 zone regulations be changed once they are in place?
  17. Would recreational vehicles be permitted to be kept on individual strata lots under the R4 zone?
  18. Will the Summergate Village Strata Council be responsible for enforcing the new R4 zoning regulations?
  19. Will the Summergate Village Strata Council be able to pass bylaws which are more or less restrictive than Town bylaws? Which bylaws take precedence?
  20. Does the Zoning Bylaw limit the use of certain building materials and colours, or restrict the architectural style and design of a building?

 

1. When will the Summergate Village LUC expire?

The LUC will become invalid on June 30, 2024 as per the 2014 amendment to the Local Government Act. However, Town of Sidney Council also may repeal the LUC by bylaw prior to this date, following consultation with the residents of Summergate Village. At this time, there is no plan to repeal the LUC prior to June 30, 2024.

2. What new policies, bylaws, development permits and plans will Summergate Village fall under when the LUC expires?

Summergate Village is already regulated by all Town of Sidney Bylaws and Policies with the exception of the Zoning Bylaw. In addition, some Summergate Village properties fall within the Reay Creek Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit Area (see the Official Community Plan Environmentally Sensitive Areas map) which requires a Development Permit be approved prior to any development. Finally, all of Summergate Village is covered by the Town of Sidney Official Community Plan, which is currently being refreshed (read more about that process on the OCP Update Project page.)

3. What are the permitted and conditional uses allowed in the R4 zone?

Once the R4 zoning takes effect, the following uses will be permitted on properties in this zone:

  • Accessory Building, Structure, or Use (i.e. a shed)
  • Single-family Dwelling
  • Home Occupation

More information on the permitted and conditional uses in the R4 zone can be found within Section 4.2 of the Zoning Bylaw.

It is important to note that a “Single-Family Dwelling” can take a variety of forms. For example, while it may include a manufactured home of the type currently in use in Summergate Village, it also includes a traditionally framed house on a concrete foundation. In other words, the R4 zoning would allow for “typical” single-family dwellings to be built in Summergate Village.

4. Are there new building regulations under the R4 zone?

Yes. A list of building regulations for the R4 zone can be found within Section 5 of the Zoning Bylaw. While the Land Use Contract requires CSA-approved manufactured homes, new structures built under the R4 zoning would also be required to meet the requirements of the BC Building Code, and a Building Permit would be required prior to adding, removing or renovating a structure on your property.

Likewise, properties abutting Reay Creek Park are designated as part of the Reay Creek Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA), and have additional restrictions on development outlined in the Town’s Official Community Plan. A Development Permit and/or a Building Permit may be required when adding, removing or renovating a structure, or for altering the landscaping on your property if it is located within the Reay Creek ESA.

5. Will there be different regulations for uncovered sundecks and porches under the Zoning Bylaw?

Yes. Both uncovered and covered sundecks and porches are required to abide by the building regulations within Section 5 of the Zoning Bylaw.

6. Will there be different regulations for sheds and greenhouses under the Zoning Bylaw?

Yes. The regulations for accessory buildings and structures can be found within Section 5.1.9 of the Zoning Bylaw.

7. Will there be different regulations for landscaping under the Zoning Bylaw?

Yes. The regulations for landscaping can be found within Section 6 of the Zoning Bylaw. Prominent changes under the Zoning Bylaw include permitting fencing to a limited height, as well as permitting lot line barriers and delineators.

8. Will carports be permitted to be enclosed under the Zoning Bylaw?

Yes. Under the Zoning Bylaw, there are no regulatory differences between carports and enclosed garages, and both are permitted.

9. Would the Town allow manufactured homes in Summergate Village under the Zoning Bylaw? What about permanent homes with foundations?

Yes. Manufactured and modular homes, as well as non-manufactured homes with foundations are permitted under the Zoning Bylaw, provided they comply with the CSA standard or the BC Building Code.

10. Would the existing configuration of homes and properties in Summergate Village conform to the regulations within the R4 zone?

In most instances, yes. The R4 zoning regulations are created specifically for Summergate Village in order to accommodate the existing style of development and maintain a high-standard of urban design.

While the majority of homes would conform to the R4 zoning regulations, there may be instances where additions to modular homes, sheds, or irregularly shaped lots may cause non-conformities with one or more Town bylaws. In these such instances, existing structures which do not fully conform to Town bylaws but conformed to the previous Land Use Contract are deemed “legal non-conforming” under the Local Government Act. Legal non-conforming structures are permitted to be repaired, extended or alternated, provided that when completed, the works involve no further contravention of Town bylaws.

11. Does the expiration of the existing Summergate Village Land Use Contract mean that any land or infrastructure within Summergate Village will now be owned or maintained by the Town?

No. Summergate Village as a whole will continue to be privately owned. Individual strata lots will continue to be privately owned by Summergate Village residents, and all common areas and above/underground infrastructure will continue to be owned and maintained by the strata corporation.

12. Will there be any changes to the financial costs of owning a property in Summergate Village under the new R4 zoning?

Any changes to the assessed value of properties in Summergate Village would be made by BC Assessment Authority and not the Town of Sidney. The Town applies a common tax rate to all residential properties in Sidney, including Summergate Village, so any change to tax rates would be a result of property assessment changes made by BC Assessment. It is possible that property values in Summergate Village may change under the new R4 zoning which in turn could lead to changes to property values and taxes.

13. Will Summergate Village remain a bareland strata?

Yes. Summergate Village will remain a bareland strata divided into individually owned strata lots and jointly owned common property.

14. Will the age of residents and the number of occupants permitted to live in a dwelling unit in Summergate Village remain restricted?

The age and number of occupants allowed in a dwelling unit in Summergate Village are not regulated by the existing Land Use Contract. The current restrictions are established by the Summergate Village Strata Bylaw, developed and regulated by the Summergate Village Strata Council, not by the Town of Sidney. If the Strata Council wished to keep the current age or occupant restrictions in place, they may choose to do so. The Town’s Zoning Bylaw does have regulations that prevent age restrictions as well as cap the total number of occupants permitted in a dwelling unit (4 unrelated people), however these regulations in most cases do not apply to Summergate Village.

15. Would two-storey homes be permitted by the Town of Sidney in Summergate Village under the R4 zoning?

If the R4 zoning takes effect in its current form, yes. The R4 zoning permits two-storey homes in Summergate Village, up to 7.0 metres (23 feet) in height.

16. Can the R4 zone regulations be changed once they are in place?

Yes. Town of Sidney Council has the ability to amend the R4 zone regulations within the Zoning Bylaw, as well as other applicable regulations and bylaws affecting Summergate Village, through a bylaw amendment or a development variance permit process.

17. Would recreational vehicles be permitted to be kept on individual strata lots under the R4 zone?

Yes. The Town of Sidney Off-Street Parking and Loading Bylaw No. 2140 permits recreational vehicles to be parked in a driveway on private property. Recreational vehicles can also be occupied for up to 4 weeks per year when parked in Sidney. However the Summergate Village Strata Council may be able to impose additional, more restrictive regulations.

18. Will the Summergate Village Strata Council be responsible for enforcing the new R4 zoning regulations?

No. The Strata Council is limited to enforcing the regulations within its own Strata Bylaws. The Town of Sidney is responsible for enforcing regulations within the Zoning Bylaw, as well as other Town bylaws.

19. Will the Summergate Village Strata Council be able to pass bylaws which are more or less restrictive than Town bylaws? Which bylaws take precedence?

Yes. The Strata Council may pass strata bylaws which can be either more or less restrictive than Town bylaws, within the powers provided under the provincial Strata Property Act. However, all residents in Sidney, including those living in Summergate Village, are required to abide by all Town of Sidney bylaws at all times. A strata bylaw is not an exemption from a Town of Sidney bylaw. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the Summergate Village Strata Council to enforce any strata bylaws which impose stricter regulations than Town of Sidney bylaws.

20. Does the Zoning Bylaw limit the use of certain building materials and colours, or restrict the architectural style and design of a building?

No. The Zoning Bylaw does not restrict the use of building materials, or the colour and architectural style of a building.

The Town of Sidney does have Development Permit areas for architectural “form and character” that provide guidelines for architectural style and materials, however at present none of these Development Permit areas apply to Summergate Village.