District of Houston

Waste removal fees can be waived

The District will now waive waste removal fees for some property owners.

The decision follows a detailed examination of its 2013 solid waste bylaw which sets out the area in which all property owners are assessed fees whether the service is used or not.

The wording and interpretation of the bylaw, however, raised some gray areas in how it is applied, corporate services director Duncan Malkinson wrote in a memo to council.

Waivers can now be granted for properties where the principal structure has been demolished or removed within the preceding two years “within all applicable rules and regulations.” Waivers will not be issued to businesses.

District staffers estimated providing waivers will amount to less than $1,000 for waste removal fees that would have been charged.

Rezoning proposal underway

Staffers are to prepare amending bylaws for council consideration to rezone property at 3600 Viewmount Court from agricultural to rural residential.

It follows a request from property owners to divide a portion of the property so that the divided portion could be further divided into rural residential lots.

In doing so, the official community plan and zoning bylaw would need to be amended, a process that could take six months, District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck indicated in a memo to council.

He noted that the District’s housing needs assessment and accompanying strategy, released this year, indicates there is a lack of new housing to attract and retain new residents.

“The application [by the property owners] does create a pathway to the potential development of 13 new rural residential lots, but at this time does not provide any guaranteed or likely outcome,” Pinchbeck added.