All residents and stakeholders are encouraged to participate by reviewing the following materials and providing comments:

Highlighted Regulations:The following information outlines major changes to regulations that haven’t been covered through previous engagement. Topics include Administration, Signage and General Regulations.

Administration

Changes have been made to the Administration Section to streamline processes and eliminate inconsistencies and ambiguity in regulations.

Notice of Application Signs

Notice of Application signs are the orange notification signs that can be seen on properties throughout Town, which signal the fact that an application has been submitted for a property. Current regulations for these notification signs are detailed and have been hard to meet in some circumstances, so updates have been made to streamline and create efficiencies.

Current:

  • Town staff are responsible for posting signs on site for all properties under 500m2.
  • Specific sign size and location is mandated based on the size of the property.
  • Required for nearly every development type that requires a Development Permit.

Proposed:

  • Applicants will be responsible for posting Notice of Application signs on their property in all circumstances. Applicants will be provided a digital copy of the sign to print or may pick-up a hard copy of the notification sign from Town offices if needed.
  • Sign size and location will be at the discretion of the Development Authority to ensure signs are visible.
  • Will only be required for Discretionary Uses and Permitted Uses that require a variance to regulations.

 

Development Application Efficiencies

All developments that require a development permit are subject to a 21-day appeal period, and until that period passes no development on the site is allowed to commence. For applications which meet all bylaw regulations and are non-problematic in nature, this 21-day period can unnecessarily extend timelines and impede development.

Current: 21-day appeal period required for all developments requiring a permit.

Proposed: Through the administration section the Development Authority will have the ability to allow some developments to proceed prior to the required appeal period being complete. When an application is received for a development that poses little to no risk of appeal, the Development Authority may allow the applicant to fill out a form that allows development to commence before the 21-day appeal period is complete. The required form will mandate that if an appeal is filed, all development must cease pending the outcome of the appeal process.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Current: No specific CPTED section within the Bylaw

Proposed: The following CPTED measures will be encouraged in the new Land Use Bylaw:

  • Providing clear sightlines between public and private spaces
  • Providing security lighting
  • Using landscaping as barriers to deter unauthorized access
  • Using walkways, Signs, Landscaping and Hardscaping to clearly identify property lines and areas of a Site that are designated as off-limits to the public; and
  • Maintaining Landscaping and lighting, keeping Sites free of garbage and graffiti, and repairing damaged or unsafe Buildings and structures.

Drive-Through Services

Provisions have been added to regulate businesses that have Drive-Through windows, to ensure that no negative impacts are experienced on neighboring properties.

Current: No regulations specific to Drive-Throughs.

Proposed:

  • Drive-Throughs must be complimentary in nature to the principal use on a site.
  • A Traffic Impact Assessment may be required for a Drive-Through.
  • A minimum number of in-bound and out-bound queuing stalls must be provided based on the use, as per the table provided in the Land Use Bylaw.
  • Any Drive-Through aisle adjacent to a residential district must be screened and must be separated by a building if outdoor speakers are present.
  • There can be no pedestrian access into a site that crosses a Drive-Through aisle.

Home Occupations

Amendments have been proposed to Home Occupation regulations to create more flexibility for homeowners who wish to have a home business.

Current: No employees allowed for any Home Occupation.

Proposed: One employee that resides outside of the home may be employed for a Home Occupation Class 2 (where clients are allowed at the home).

Landscaping

Landscaping regulations have been updated to provide more flexibility and accurately reference existing Town landscaping standards. Buffering regulations have also been expanded to require larger areas between residential development and abutting commercial and industrial parcels.

 

Xeriscaping Regulations

Xeriscaping is a natural approach for constructing low maintenance, water efficient and sustainable landscaping which often includes but is not limited to the usage of xeric adapted plant species, gravel gardens or rock gardens.  The current Land Use Bylaw requires 100% xeriscaping in non-residential areas, however that standard is quite restrictive and not always met. To provide more flexibility, in the new Land Use Bylaw we are proposing to encourage xeriscaping, and also directly reference the Town of Cochrane Naturescaping Standards, which outlines appropriate species to help decrease water consumption.

Current: 100% xeriscaping required for all non-residential developments

Proposed: Xeriscaping shall be encouraged to reduce watering requirements, and all landscaping shall conform to the Town of Cochrane naturscaping

 

Industrial Landscaping Regulations

Current landscaping standards for industrial districts have proven to be cumbersome in some areas, where there is a shortage of industrial lands available for development. The new regulations decrease the total amount of area that needs to be landscaped, while still ensuring that landscaping is focused along public streets.

Current: Minimum of 20% of the gross site area must be landscaped in the Business Industrial District, with one tree required per 35m2 of landscaped area.

Proposed: Minimum of 10% of the gross site area must be landscaped in the Business Industrial District, with one tree or two shrubs required per 35m2 of landscaped area.

 

Buffering

Landscaping buffers visibly screen and separate land use districts from one another to mitigate noise, lighting and other nuisances. Current buffering regulations are non-specific and don’t provide much guidance, so they have been expanded to ensure that buffers of a minimum size are required when residential districts abut non-residential districts.

Current: Landscaping to provide a visual buffer between residential and non-residential uses shall be required

Proposed: A minimum 3m wide buffer will be required between residential and non-residential (commercial, industrial, urban service) district.

  • In addition to a landscaping buffer, any industrial district that is adjacent to a residential district must be screened to a minimum height of 1.8m by fences, privacy walls, earth berm, gates, or landscaping.
  • Additional buffering and screening may be required by the Development Authority if deemed necessary.

Signs

Sign regulations have been simplified to remove any conflicting regulations and clarify current regulations.

Sign Types

Current: Extensive list of sign types with overlapping characteristics and ambiguous definitions.

Proposed: New definitions for sign types have been created which broaden the uses and clarify the different types of signs. A new use for “Specialized Signs” has also been created which will encompass sign types that don’t meet any other definition.

 

Portable Signs

Third-Party Advertising is signage which is advertising a business located on a different property than the sign is placed on.

Current: No Third-Party Advertising allowed.

Proposed: Third-Party Advertising will be allowed in conjunction with all other sign regulations within the Bylaw.

 

Development Permits not Required

The list of signs not requiring a Development Permit has been simplified based on the new sign types outlined in the Sign Section.

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