Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shelter bylaw has opponents

The city’s plan to allow for year round car shelters in residential areas of Timmins has been put on hold for at least two more weeks. Council had been preparing to pass the bylaw this week, but there have been public complaints against that plan.
Timmins city council has already had first and second reading on a bylaw that would allow tent–style car shelters to be set up on residential properties year round, under strict conditions.
Currently the zoning bylaw allows for temporary shelters only during winter months, from October 1 to April 30.
In recent years many citizens have put shelters up and have left them up on a year round basis, taking advantage of the fact that no action would be taken by the bylaw officer unless there was a complaint by neighbors.
Some citizens feel the shelters are worthwhile to protect their vehicles from the weather. Others feel the shelters reflect poorly on the neighborhood.
City council had been preparing to change the zoning the bylaw to allow for year round shelters in the front area of a property, provided there were no complaints from the neighbors.
The city has received several vocal complaints and at least two written complaints.
City councillor Pat Bamford suggested that the complaints be taken seriously.
“I don’t think anyone wants to see 20-thousand of these going up in the community.
And maybe the neighbors don’t want to see them next door,” Bamford told council.
“In my opinion we may have gone a little bit too far,” he added.
“There is a concern by the two letters we received and I think they would be echoed by a lot of people. Maybe we shouldn’t be approving permanent shelters in the front yard.”
Council agreed to defer a final vote on the bylaw so that further discussion can occur at the committee level.

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