EDITORIAL: Considering carriage houses

Changes in established neighbourhoods can also result in changes to the character of the area

People living close to a carriage house on Sinclair Road voiced their disapproval with the new structure, and as a result, the municipality will revisit its regulations governing carriage houses.

The carriage house is two storeys high in an area surrounded by one-storey houses. Because it is constructed on a street without a back alley, the new building is close to neighbouring houses.

RELATED: Complaints raised about carriage house

The neighbours have been complaining about a loss of privacy because of this new building. They have also said their views are now obstructed.

Carriage houses are allowed within Summerland, although there are certain conditions which must be met.

The regulations include the property zoning where the carriage house is to be constructed, requirements for front, rear and interior height setbacks, the height of the building, floor area, parking spaces and lot coverage.

The idea behind carriage houses makes sense.

Adding a smaller dwelling unit on a residential lot can help to increase the densification of an area, just as subdividing a large lot into two or more smaller lots can help to increase the housing density and reduce sprawl.

However, such changes in established neighbourhoods can also result in changes to the character of the area.

Because of the concerns which have been raised about the carriage house on Sinclair Road, the municipality will examine its policy about carriage houses.

The changes may affect where such buildings may be constructed and whether further limits will be placed on the construction of these houses.

But no matter what changes are made to the regulations, this carriage house on Sinclair Road will remain in place.

Municipal councils have the power to change regulations and implement bylaws within the community, but those changes are made going forward.

They do not and cannot result in the removal or significant alteration of a completed building or one for which a permit has already been granted.

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