Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Quesnel Council Highlights - March 7th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

NEW – Owner Builder Authorization Process – Mr. Joe Hart, Icon Homes Ltd.
At the February 28, 2017 Regular Council meeting, the new Owner Builder Authorization process was introduced, by the City’s Development Services department, explaining that an individual wanting to build their own home, and/or who wanted to directly manage the construction of their home, is now required to take an exam.  There is concern regarding the understanding of this new process causing confusion and delays in issuing licenses in Quesnel.  The City’s Development Services Department reported that owners built 9 out of 16 new homes in Quesnel last year.  Council asked for further clarification to be brought forward regarding the Owner Builder Authorization process.

Mr. Joe Hart, Icon Homes Ltd., appeared as a delegation at the March 7, 2017 Regular Council meeting explaining that he has been involved in the licensing process for builders in BC since 2007 and wanted to ensure, when BC Housing was developing regulations/policy for the Owner Builder Authorization program, that the small rural northern community voice was heard.  Mr. Hart went on to explain the history of progression of licensing for both builders and owner builders in BC.  The first phase of new regulations focused on licensed builders with mandatory continuing education for builders.  The next phase of regulations focused on the owner builder with the owner now required to pass a basic construction concepts exam with the focus on the Owner Builder being aware of the liability and the legalities that an owner takes on when building their own home.  For example, the owner builder is responsible for the 2-5-10 home warranty:  2 years for the entire home; 5 years for the envelope of the home (keeping the elements out); and 10 years on the structural part of the home.  Mr. Hart reaffirmed the reasons for implementation of these regulations is to regulate the construction of new homes being built by licensed builders and owners builders.  For more information regarding the Owner Builder Authorization program, please contact BC Housing, Licensing & Consumer Services 1-866-465-6873.

Council Reports – Highway 97 Issues
Council asked for a letter to be sent to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding two issues that Council would like addressed along Highway 97 inside City limits.  The first issue is the Ministry’s digital sign located along Highway 97 at the sharp corner of Chuck Beath Park.  Council is concerned about distracted driving matters and that Council has been working to beautify this area contained in and around Chuck Beath Park, and would prefer the Ministry to relocate this sign when there is no road/bridge works in the immediate area.  The second issue is lobbying the Ministry to reinstall the west-bound right-hand turn lane at Carson Avenue onto Kinchant Street.  This right-hand turn lane was removed by the Ministry last year and has resulted in Council receiving complaints from the public about the significant traffic delays and traffic congestion especially during peak traffic hours.

City’s Parks/Playgrounds
An overview report containing all of the City’s parks/playgrounds, including the costs associated with each site, was brought forward for Council’s review.  Council asked that this report be refined further and to include detailed financial data for each park/playground and to be brought back to Council at a Strategic Planning Session where Council will determine the future of the City’s parks/playgrounds.

McLean Street Housing Development
A residential 4-storey 38 units housing complex with affordable and accessible units is being proposed for the 400 Block of McLean Street requiring amendments to the Official Community Plan and Zoning bylaws.  This proposed housing development is targeting the singles/single-parent housing market and is eligible for a 10 year 100% tax exemption and waiver of Development Cost Charges as outlined in the Multi-Family Housing Incentive Bylaw.  Next steps include the developer giving a presentation of the proposed development at the March 28, 2017 Regular Council Meeting and the Public Hearing has been set for 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017.

Shipping Container Policy
Council approved staff moving forward to draft policy that will permit shipping containers in residential areas with requirements on form/character, safety and smaller-sized unit’s considerations.  To view this report, please visit the City’s website at

-  Bylaw 1819 – Amend Political Campaign Sign Bylaw 1808 – Final Adoption
-  Bylaws 1821/1822 – OCP and Zone Amendments – McLean Street Housing Project – First Reading/Public Hearing Date

Next Meetings
5:30 pm on March 14th (North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee) AND 7 pm on March 28th (Regular Council Meeting)

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