New building rules for infill projects, interim control by-law lifted

St. Catharines City Council has lifted an interim-control by-law and approved new policies and procedures for residential development in established neighbourhoods.

At the Monday May 8/2017 meeting, City Council approved a number of changes to the City’s Official Plan, Comprehensive Zoning By-law, and Committee of Adjustment. The changes come after the City’s nearly six-month review and consultation with residents at public meetings and information sessions.

City Council also approved the creation of new urban design guidelines and a design review panel as a one-year pilot project to provide guidance and input on new lot creation. The changes include new public notice guidelines and clear communications so residents can be better informed about development in their neighbourhood.

Mayor Walter Sendzik is calling the new guidelines a step forward in balancing growth and preserving established neighbourhoods.

“The policy changes and improved procedures help ensure that future growth is a good fit with established neighbourhoods, and that together, we are building attractive place to live,” stated Mayor Walter Sendzik.

Other policy changes include technical refinements such as building heights and minimum lot sizes in certain low-density residential neighbourhoods.

The policy changes come after City Council directed a review of the City’s planning and zoning standards in September 2016 after hearing from a number of residents and property owners about the impacts of infill and new developments in established neighbourhoods. Last December, City Council put a moratorium on new developments in lower density neighbourhoods to allow time to complete the review. The City held two public information sessions earlier this year and a four-and-a-half hour public meeting on May 1 to hear public input.

“After a thorough review and public consultation, we’ve come together on new policies that will allow residential neighbourhoods to grow while retaining their uniqueness,” said Judy Pihach, manager of planning services.

“St. Catharines is open for good business and smart development,” said Mayor Sendzik. “These new measures reflect our vision for St. Catharines as a sustainable, innovative, dynamic and livable city. Taken together with the upcoming housing action plan, I am confident we will continue to grow for the future without compromising our neighbourhoods and community heritage.”

For more information on the new policies and procedures visit www.stcatharines.ca/residentialinfill.

Source – City of St. Catharines press release

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