Slave Lake’s Municipal Planning Commission dealt with two applications for developments to residential properties at its Oct. 6 meeting. One applicant wishes to add a secondary suite; the other hopes to start a home-based business.
The group approved an application to add a secondary suite to a home on Pioneer Drive SW. It appears to fit all the requirements in the Land Use Bylaw, except maybe one. That’s the ‘direct access’ item. Access is proposed through the garage. MPC chair Shirley Chykerda had some reservations about that. She said in the case of an emergency (a fire, say), such a situation might not be so good.
“A garage should never be the one access into a living area,” she said.
Speaking for the town’s planning department, Laurie Skrynyk said the definition of ‘direct access’ in the LUB needs some clarity. She also said the provincial building code “overrules us anyway,” and will have its own opinion on the access issue.
Chykerda said it is likely the town will run into similar applications for similar situations again.
The question also arose about whether the suite would have its own heating and ventilation system. It would have to, yes, said Skrynyk.
“It will all be outlined in the building permit,” she said.
One of the members mentioned a home in the southeast part of town that has a similar access situation to a secondary suite – possibly non-conforming. It could be one of the ones that were built without town permits, Skrynyk said, admitting there were several of those. Or maybe not. Again, the lack of clarity on exactly what ‘direct access’ amounts to.
“We’ll get clarity and make changes to the LUB,” Skrynyk said.
The MPC approved a home-based business at a 4th Ave. NE location. The applicant plans to offer “musical instrument lessons,” the board heard. These will be on drums, guitar, amplifiers and computers.
He expects to take one client at a time, possibly up to three per day, and there is plenty of parking.