La Pêche to grant granny suites
La Pêche is looking to combat affordable housing in the region by allowing secondary dwellings to be built on residential lots throughout the municipality.
During its Nov. 7 council meeting, councillors passed a motion to modify the residential zoning bylaw to allow conditional uses for homeowners to add additional buildings onto both new and existing lots for things like granny suites, rental properties and “multi-generational homes,” said Mayor Guillaume Lamoureux.
“People need affordable housing and a lot of people can’t build a house or buy property, so this will be useful,” added the mayor. “This will be important for families, businesses and residents of La Pêche who need help finding affordable homes.”
Affordable housing is a major issue in the Gatineau Hills, according to La Table de développement social des Collines-de-l'Outaouais (TDSCO). A 2021 housing report revealed that 15 per cent of MRC households spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing. The thirty per cent income-to-housing ratio is the threshold used by the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Company (CMHC) to consider a home as “affordable.”
The proposal is in its early stages and will go through a round of council discussions and public consultations before the changes are implemented, however Lamoureux laid out some of the conditions of the bylaw — specific criteria that will deem a property eligible or not.
Some of these conditions include that a property must be at least 4,000 square metres in size, which is just under one acre of land. A secondary dwelling also can’t exceed 50 per cent of the main house and will have to use a shared driveway. These additional properties will not be permitted to become short-term rental spots for Airbnb, nor can there be a second garage. Septic systems will also have to comply with the additional rooms added to the property.
“All of this will be discussed at length before the zoning bylaw is modified,” added Lamoureux.
During the meeting, council also gave the final green light for the Masham distillery project to go ahead. The old Knights of Columbus building at 6 Ch. Guertin in Masham is being converted into a distillery by resident Beniot Charron. Council approved the project during the meeting, but explained that Charron is not permitted to open a bar with live music at the distillery. What is permitted onsite is the distillery, a small tasting room for customers and storage space.
Charron previously told the Low Down that he is looking to start producing gin, liqueurs and possibly other unaged or shortly-aged products. Single malt whisky and rum are also in his future plans.
In other news, council
paid 1,286,659 in invoices;
approved its share of the Transcollines contract for $236,610;
purchased a new sand spreader for road works at $11,680;
purchased a new snowplow for $12,610;
and hired new La Pêche firefighter Lara Guenette, who will be placed on a six-month probationary period. Guenette has already been on a couple of calls and she’s totally loving it. Way to go, Lara!