Inuvik town councillors are working to tweak a zoning bylaw to allow for a proposed new transition shelter to get funding.

Councillors voted unanimously to move amendments to the zoning bylaw to first reading at their Sept. 8 meeting.

“There definitely is a need for service of this site,” said Coun. Alana Mero.

Senior administrative officer Grant Hood said the amendment would allow the shelter’s backers to apply for the needed funding to build the structure.

“We’ve been approached by an organization that is applying for funding to put in another facility similar to transition house,” he said. “(These changes) would allow for these types of facilities on a conditional use but just expand where this type of facility could be, because it’s not just a single residence.”

Under consideration are two new types of zoning districts: special care residences and special care facilities. The former defines a support house for people with special needs which allow for shared cooking, laundry and cleaning facilities, with specialist care for up to 24 hours at a time. They would be permitted in residential low and medium density zones. The latter is defined as a building designed for temporary care, guidance or other activities lasting less than 24 hours. These would only be allowed in medium density zones.

Both new types of zoning would be listed as conditional use, meaning the town council would have the final say on the maximum number of residents for any proposed facility. Both new zoning classes would be limited to the traffic and parking limitations of the zone they are built in. Any facility would be subject to all development regulations of the surrounding zone.

Applications will also be required to complete a report by a professional planner to be approved by the town’s development officer.

Hood did not tell council who it was that approached the town and what or where exactly they intend to build, but added the developers were putting together a presentation for council for a later meeting.

With the bylaw passing first reading, the town is now required to publish a notice and hold a public hearing on the proposed changes before council can vote on second and third readings. A date for that has not been set.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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