Council passes bylaw allowing temporary use permits in all zones

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John City Council passed a bylaw on Monday that will allow for temporary use permits to be issued in all property zones.

Temporary use permits were previously only allowed on properties zoned R-2 after Council passed a bylaw amendment last February. The bylaw was amended so that the Community Development Institute could use the Fort St. John Passive House as an office and demonstration space.

Last October, Council received a report that a medical clinic was operating in part of a building on a property zoned C-4 commercial on the City’s south side, which was contrary to the permitted uses of the property’s zoning. Instead of changing the City’s Official Community Plan and zoning bylaws, staff recommended that council consider allowing the clinic to obtain the temporary permit. The clinic was said to have signed a five-year lease on the property, while Acting Mayor Byron Stewart said that the temporary use permit would be for a term of three years, with the option to renew for an additional three.

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At a public hearing on Monday, Council received no opposition to the amendment, which passed a vote after the meeting.

That same evening, the City also approved a zoning amendment bylaw that added ‘Religious Assembly Facility’ as a permitted use to the United Pentecostal Church on 101st Ave. Last year the church inquired with the City about building an addition, but was informed that the building was non-conforming as the land is currently zoned C-4 Commercial instead of Institutional. The church told the City that, given site and parking constraints, they would prefer to maintain the setbacks as permitted in the C4 Zone, hence the request for the “spot zoning”.

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