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Guelph-Eramosa questions temporary use bylaw application

by Jaime Myslik

BRUCEDALE - Guelph-Eramosa council is unsure about an application for a temporary use bylaw in Ariss.

On Dec. 4, council received a bylaw amendment application from David and Luella Gorgi in Ariss, asking for a temporary use bylaw to allow for two houses on one lot for up to three years. The owners do not currently live in the house on the property.

“There is an existing tenant living in the dwelling on the property right now and they are elderly and the owners who talked to me don’t wish to make her leave just yet,” said township planning consultant Rachel Martin.

“So, they’re hoping that they can build a new house for themselves and allow their existing tenant to remain in the existing house.”

However, the planning act doesn’t permit two dwellings on a property, so the Gorgi’s are seeking relief to amend the zoning bylaw to allow for two dwellings for up to three years.  

The intention of the temporary use bylaw is to allow property owners to live in their existing residence while their new house is being built. Once the new house is complete they must demolish their old house, Mayor Chris White explained.

The Gorgi’s would live in the new residence and the existing tenants would continue renting the existing residence for up to three years, with the option to extend another three years when the time is up.

“I don’t intend to offend anybody here but this is kind of a thinly veiled attempt at creating a garden suite,” councillor David Wolk said.

“It doesn’t take three years (to build a house) and I wouldn’t like to see the second dwelling remain there for up to three years because the onus is then on us to go out at the end of three years and evict the person and then have the house torn down.

“That’s not a role anybody would like to have.”

Councillor Corey Woods said he understands and supports a temporary use bylaw for people who are living on a property that would like to build a new house.

“I’m not in favour of the three years because somebody wants to rent the house out,” he said.

“If they want to let the people live there for three years, then that house comes down, and they build a new house, I’m fine with that.”

Local real estate agent and broker Colin MacDonald made the argument that there’s a lack of affordable housing in Ontario and that eventually all housing will become more intensified.

He said the tenants of the house are part of the community and that they have good upkeep of the property.

“I think it’s a genuine interest in allowing somebody very senior, the lady’s very senior and her son who works on neighbouring farms to stay within the community and stay on that property for that time frame,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s some type of a let’s-get-an-extra-place-on-this-property game.”

White said regardless of the circumstance the outcome will still be two houses on one lot.

“The policy on the agricultural or in our lots is that you can’t have two houses on one lot ... the other circumstances, as they are, have no baring because we can’t just decide that someone’s in a certain circumstance you’re going to allow two houses because that means everybody gets two houses when you go across the board,” White said.

“The intent of this is not to allow two houses with two families living there.”

Woods added that the problem isn’t the renters.

“I think it’s great that they’re there,” he said. “I think they can live there indefinitely, as long as there’s not two houses on the property.

“So it’s the house we have the problem with, not the renters.”

Council received the application and will provide notice of a public meeting.

 

December 22, 2017

 
 

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