Detached dwelling dos and don’ts

Detached dwelling dos and don’ts

Sherbrooke officials hold consultation meeting in Lennoxville on proposed new construction bylaws

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

Officials from the city of Sherbrooke held a public consultation meeting April 30 at Lennoxville’s Town Hall to discuss several proposed by-laws concerning the city’s zoning and construction codes. City Councillor and Borough President Claude Charron presided over the meeting with a few members of the public in attendance.

Charron explained the purpose of the new rules in his own words during the meeting. He called the process “soft densification,” where the city’s officials are encouraging the practice of adding additional dwellings to single-family or semi-detached properties.

He emphasized that this approach, which involves minor additions or modifications, contrasts with “hard game” densification, which could involve building larger structures that might affect the landscape and other aspects of the environment.

The idea behind soft densification is that it can support multi-generational living or provide housing for students. The city has aligned its laws to facilitate such modifications, whereas previously one would have needed to apply for a permit to make these changes. The overarching goal is to encourage this type of gradual and gentle increase in housing density.

Among the bylaws discussed were amendments to the zoning and subdivision by-law, which would allow the construction of additional attached or detached dwelling units for secondary use in single-family or two-family dwellings.

Another item proposed integrating the National Building Code of Canada 2015 into Sherbrooke’s construction by-law. Further discussion centered on requiring fire separation for secondary use detached dwelling units and amending conditional use by-laws to cover additional dwelling units and expansions.

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