Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


The exterior of Saint John City Hall is pictured in this file photo. Image: staff photo

Changes would speed up supportive housing approvals

By Brad Perry May 3, 2023 | 2:43 PM

Saint John is looking to make it easier for supportive housing projects in the city to move ahead.

Proposed changes to the city’s zoning bylaw passed the first and second reading at council this week.

Jennifer Kirchner, manager of community planning, said the current bylaw does not address the types of projects being put forward by non-profits.

“These are things that help people transition from possibly a non-permanent housing position to more of a transitional housing with the ultimate goal of something more permanent,” Kirchner told council on Monday.

Under the current bylaw, projects like the Coverdale Centre for Women’s Rose House have to go through the city’s planning advisory committee.

The PAC approval process takes about two months, according to city staff, and has to happen before a building permit application can be reviewed and approved.

David Dobbelsteyn, director of growth and community planning, said the proposed changes mean PAC approval would no longer be required for projects like that.

“It gives new authority to the development officer to grant approvals and variances at a staff level and allow for applications to be dealt with much more smoothly and swiftly, which benefits our applicants, staff, PAC and ultimately council,” he said.

Supportive housing projects with more than 12 units would still have to go through the PAC process, according to staff.

Council also gave its initial approval Monday to proposed bylaw changes related to the use of shipping containers for “accessory uses.”

Currently, applications dealing with shipping containers are dealt with on a site-by-site basis and have to go through PAC.

But the proposed amendments would allow individuals to bypass that process on industrial and rural properties.

City staff said they continue to research the broader use of shipping containers for residential and commercial uses.

Council will vote on the third reading of the proposed changes at a future meeting.


Leave a Reply