Town Council approved two Land Use Bylaw amendments, designed to streamline approval processes for accessory suites and dayhomes in Cochrane.
The amendments were developed as part of the comprehensive review of the Cochrane Land Use Bylaw, which is anticipated to be presented to Council later this year. These changes will be included in the new version, but were accelerated to meet current community needs.
“This is just one example of the Town’s commitment to identify organizational efficiencies,” said Mayor Jeff Genung. “By developing clear criteria for secondary suites and dayhomes, we not only save staff time, but also make the process more efficient for the applicant. And, if we can add much-needed childcare spaces in our community, and help homeowners create rental or family suites, we’re helping them support the community as a whole.”
Most Town of Cochrane residential land use districts allow accessory and garden suites — dwellings separate from the main dwelling — as long as certain criteria are met, including parking requirements, minimum size and maximum gross floor area, as well as height and setbacks for garden suites. The Land Use Bylaw amendment allows Town Development Officers (Planning staff) to consider applications rather than the Cochrane Planning Commission, reducing the time to receive a decision and staff time required to process.
Dayhomes in Alberta operate as a provincially regulated or unregulated if six or fewer children are being cared for; municipalities have authority over local impacts such as land use and signage. With the amendment approved Monday, prospective dayhome operators no longer have to apply for a Cochrane development permit if they wish to provide temporary childcare to six or fewer children and have a Town business license.
Both amendments are the result of extensive work, including research by Town planners, public engagement and public hearings.
Both amendments are in effect as of February 11, 2020.