Screenshot of a colourful map showing new zoning areas in Kamloops.

Gentle density coming to Kamloops

As you may know, the Province of BC is getting serious about addressing the housing crisis. Legislation put into place last November requires that municipalities change their bylaws to allow greater density across the board by June 30th. Amid concerns that rapid uptake on the part of property owners could trigger expensive infrastructure upgrades, Kamloops City Council voted to implement the provincially required changes to our bylaws, so we can expect to see gradual density increases in single-family neighborhoods over the decades to come. 

Members of the Transition Kamloops core group constituted most of the public in attendance at the public hearing held June 11 in council chambers to discuss some aspects of the changes.  The legislation will allow homeowners to put multiple units onto single family lots, and there will be big changes coming to areas that have been designated as Transit oriented development areas, including much higher buildings. Details of the approved changes are here.

The changes are good newsโ€”for residents, our pocketbooks, and for the environment. Many studies have shown that dense, walkable neighbourhoods with a mixture of housing types (as well as some commercial activity) are healthier and more vibrant than the typical North American car-centric conglomerations of single-family houses. Since infill development is known to be much cheaper for cities, taxpayers can expect to save money.

While we feel that more could have been done to ensure that the new housing remains affordable and to ensure walkability and mixed use, these bylaw changes are definitely a step in the right direction. Check out the information (including zoning maps) on the City’s Let’s Talk website and thank Councillors for supporting this change when you see them!

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