Parking rules changing to allow more portable classrooms

School district has 11 portables on order

Abbotsford city council is urgently changing a zoning bylaw to allow for an influx of portable classrooms at local schools.

The district has ordered 11 portables, four of which it anticipates receiving and installing before school starts in September. One portable will go to Chief Dan George Middle School, while the other 10 will go to elementary schools. The exact locations have not yet been determined.

But most of the 11 portables will not be ready for the beginning of the school year. Some classes will be taught in libraries, and others in alternative spaces while schools wait for portables to arrive, according to a district spokesperson.

The push for new teaching space is an effort to comply with class composition contract language from 2002 reinstated in the province following a Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

The newly restored rules limit class size and ratios of special-needs students.

Under current rules, a full parking analysis must be completed before a building permit is issued to allow the placement of a portable.

Las Tuesday, council passed first and second readings of a bylaw that would allow the installation of portables without creating new parking spaces.

The bylaw will next go to a yet-unscheduled public hearing.

This is expected to be an interim fix before the city makes sweeping changes to its zoning bylaws.


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