By Lyonel Doherty
The public will soon have a say on proposed amendments to vacation rentals, bed & breakfast and home occupations.
The Town of Oliver is organizing a public hearing for Nov. 12 in council chambers.
One new section in the bylaw suggests that a bed and breakfast should only be operated by the owner who has a principal residence on the property in question.
Council discussed the issue on Monday, when it was determined to allow signage on site and not restrict the age of children in these rentals.
Other amendments include a maximum of one vacation rental per parcel, and a rental is not permitted on the same parcel as a bed and breakfast, and vice versa. In addition, a maximum of two adults and two children are permitted per bedroom.
Home occupations are limited to one per parcel, and the bylaw removes the reference to home workshop being a permitted home occupation.
“This amendment is not prohibiting residents from having a hobby workshop, it’s just clarifying that a resident is not permitted to operate a workshop as a business,” said Director of Development Services Randy Houle.
Councillor Dave Mattes suggested there should be more contact information for the people involved in the rentals, such as addresses.
Houle said the idea is to make sure these people are accountable, adding he doesn’t see the necessity of including addresses, just the names.
Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Cowan said this becomes a privacy issue, gathering information that is not really required.
Mattes said there needs to be consistency in both vacation rentals and bed and breakfast regarding who can operate them. To this, Houle recommended they add that a bed and breakfast can only be operated by the owner of the property.
Mayor Martin Johansen said a registered owner will have more control and due diligence on the property, adding that he’s a “little nervous” having a renter operate it.
Houle previously explained the Town is regulating vacation rentals and B&Bs to ensure that BC building codes and health and safety issues are addressed. He noted the intention of the amendments is to include vacation rentals and B&Bs as allowable uses in Oliver as long as they do not have negative effects on neighbourhoods.
For one thing, residents operating these rentals must have a valid business licence, and it is recommended that the annual fee be $200.