Windmills out, sod roofs in

plans to table new zoning bylaw, Sept. 24

By Robert Frank
While prospective provisions to protect passersby ability to
view Lake St. Louis drew most of the political flak at Beaconsfield’s public
information meeting, Sept. 17, the city has mooted a host of other new zoning
Among them, on the environmental front, Beaconsfield plans
to ban wind generators, but permit so-called eco-roofs. These can be planted
with vegetation or made of white material, or a combination of both. Flat
roofs, however, will be banned under the new bylaw.
Noise restrictions for equipment such as generators will
remain limited to 55 decibels.
“Ninety per cent of Beaconsfield houses already have pitched
roofs,” explained urban planning director Denis Chabot.
Vinyl siding will also be banned for new houses.

The city also plans to limit rain barrels to four per home.
However, when a citizen pointed out that the total capacity would be
insufficient to operate a rainwater toilet system, Chabot clarified that the
new restrictions would not apply to large underground cisterns.

“We simply don’t want to have a forest of rain barrels
around a house,” he replied.

House sizes for lakefront properties will be limited to 25%
of the lot size, down from the current 30%.

Mayor David Pollock explained that the city will also
protect citizens’ privacy by limiting how close new additions to houses can be
from neighbouring property lines.
City councilors were clearly not unanimous in their views of
this restriction. District 2 councilor Karin Essen and District 6
councilor Rhonda Massad pointed out that extensions that don’t have side
windows don’t intrude on privacy.
The city plans to permit intergenerational house renovation.
Owners would be able to build a living space over garages that contains a
bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette, provided that there is only one entrance to
the premises, one mailing address and the occupants are all members of the same
A citizen also questioned why a new zoning rule permitting
small businesses is restricted to such a small number of professions.
Another citizen asked whether the environmental provisions
of the new bylaw would apply to Angell Woods.
“We will just continue with what we have in place which is
interim control,” replied Mayor Pollock.
However, he acknowledged that the green aspects of the draft
bylaw “could ultimately be used for Angell Woods.”
The six-foot height limit for fences came under scrutiny for
being too low for taller Beaconsfield residents.
Many citizens expressed concerns about plans to add
residential housing atop the Elm commercial plaza, though Chabot and the mayor
stated unequivocally that no zoning changes are planned there at this time.
Chabot explained, though, that although zoning rules do not
yet permit it, the city’s master plan includes provisions for structures of up
to four storeys alongside major thoroughfares such as highway 20.
“If you keep splitting this city in two,” a citizen told
council members, “the north side will eventually go to Kirkland.”
For a full list of proposed new zoning restrictions, visit:
Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial