Brief: Public hearing for temporary use permit to facilitate shelter

Temporary use bylaw would facilitate downtown church shelter, but can also help with worker housing, council hears.

The basement of the Revelstoke United Church is the proposed location for a temporary winter shelter. Rev. David Cooke said the downtown location means RCMP already patrol the area regularly in the evenings, pointing out that homeless populations are often more vulnerable to becoming victims of violence than the general public. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer.

City council will hear from community members about plans for downtown winter shelter at a November pubic meeting.

At their Oct. 8 meeting, council discussed a report on a proposed temporary use permit bylaw, which would pave the way for “temporary” uses on properties. The proposed bylaw, which applies to the whole community, is required to allow the temporary shelter to operate in the basement of the Revelstoke United Church.

Background: Learn more about the proposed shelter in this story:

Councillors hear concerns about proposed overnight homeless shelter in Mackenzie Avenue church

Development services director Marianne Wade said the temporary use bylaw could have other benefits for the community.

She said it could be used to allow for temporary worker housing to be erected without having to secure zoning or Official Community Plan amendments, something she said can delay a project for years. The proponent could then seek zoning and other regulatory changes after construction.

“They could have a temporary use while they are going through the zoning,” she said.

Wade said she had fielded numerous questions about the possibility of erecting worker housing. “I have had quite a few inquiries,” she told council on Oct. 8.

Council also heard that each temporary use permit would come with its own public hearing. The temporary use permits would last for three years, but can be extended.

The public hearing is for the temporary use bylaw itself; it is not for the specific proposal for the shelter at the church.

The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. in Revelstoke City Council Chambers.

For more, see the video of the discussion here: