A new draft of the Town of St. Paul’s land use bylaw will be discussed at a tele town hall the evening of Jan. 13 according to Town of St. Paul CAO Kim Heyman.
Heyman said town staff have been working on amending the bylaw for about a year now and they hope to receive some feedback from the public.
“I think this is something that anybody who is looking to make any change to their property, this is something that they should take an interest in, for sure,” said Heyman.
She said they’ve made a lot of tweaks throughout the document.
“It’s everything from how high your fences are to, setbacks. Some enforcement issues, what happens when people blatantly break the bylaw? What should we do? At what point do you step in and maybe start fining people or warn them,” said Heyman.
Last September, the town had put out a survey regarding chickens and in-law suites to gather information for the land use bylaw.
“Chickens, believe it or not, is more controversial than in-law suites,” said Heyman.
“In-law suites, I think that becomes a parking issue more than anything else. But that’s the sort of thing we want feedback on,” said Heyman.
She noted the bylaw is currently a draft and will continue to be amended and updated according to the feedback received.
Asked if this town hall will have pre-registration like previous ones, Heyman said no because they had run into too many issues connecting with people whose phones have anti-spam functions enabled.
“Hopefully, it’s just going to be we’re just going to post a number and people can just phone in,” said Heyman.
According to Heyman, the telephone town hall is certainly not the only way of giving feedback. She said an e-mail or a letter to Aline Brousseau, the town’s Director of Planning and Legislative Services would also be accepted.
“I would prefer they didn’t phone because they never seem to get hold of the right person. Or they’ll get hold of me just as I’m running into a meeting. And I don’t like to rush people over that sort of thing,” said Heyman.
“It’s really much better for us to have a record of their concern, if they would send us as a say a letter email, something where it’s in writing, so it goes in a file and we have record of it.”
Heyman said while the 30 or 40 people who have attended previous tele town halls may not sound like a lot of people, it is a significant improvement in engagement compared to open houses they’ve hosted in the past where only one or two people showed up.
“We’re hoping that people will take advantage of the fact they can call from the comfort of their home. That they’ll take a few minutes and go over the document or even phone with questions.
“And then we’ll be on the line with Maureen [Miller] and somebody from the MPC. And MPC is our municipal planning commission that has three counselors on it. And so one of them will be there. And hopefully, if we can’t answer your question, we’ll certainly get back to people with an answer.”
The phone number to call for the telephone town hall will be published to the Town’s Facebook Page.