Gibsons briefs: Council adjusts short-term rental bylaw priorities
October 5 Council Meeting Highlights
An updated bylaw for the Short-Term Rentals (STR) regulation “will likely” go to another public hearing, Mayor Bill Beamish said at the Gibsons council meeting Oct. 5.
Council confirmed the reorganization of its four objectives for the settlement at the meeting, noting that maintaining the supply of long-term rental accommodation is its top priority.
The group reviewed these goals, which were set in 2018, at a committee meeting on September 28.
Protecting residents’ housing moved from fourth to first place.
The second highest level of consideration will be given to the goal of “maintaining an appropriate business size for residential neighborhoods”.
The needs of owners wishing to increase their income and accommodate tourists will remain considerations in the development of the regulations, but their importance will be less.
The new goal rankings were established based on concerns council members had heard about in the community and the “housing crisis” documented in the Sunshine Coast Housing Needs Assessment. This report was presented to all local governments on the coast in the fall of 2020.
Staff will review, revise and re-submit the STR By-Law based on the Board’s adjusted priorities. This regulation received a second reading and was the subject of two public hearings last year.
No timeline has been provided for when the update will be ready for council or public review. Com. David Croal said he wanted to see the regulations passed in time for the licensing of STR companies in 2022.
Development permit refused
A development permit for a second commercial and residential building at 682 Gibsons Way was refused at the meeting.
The permit application requested the reduction of lot line setbacks. In discussing this point, several council members said that these changes could create a dangerous situation for vehicles entering and exiting the parking area of the site. It was noted that if the proposed building adhered to the setbacks, vehicles would have at least three meters of visibility entering and exiting Gibsons Way.
Concerns have also been raised about the scale of the proposed three-storey building and that it could block light, and the views enjoyed by people living in rental apartments in the existing building on the site.
“I hate to lose 10 more rental units, but you have to consider people who have been living in the existing building with a view for several years,” Croal said.
Beamish noted that the proposed added density is within the permitted uses of the property and denial of the permit will likely result in an adjusted building plan.
Beamish requested reconsideration of a motion passed at the September 21 council meeting, which he did not attend.
This petition invited an owner to resubmit a temporary use permit (TUP) application for a recreational vehicle fleet at 718 North Rd. He also waived the $1,500 TUP application fee.
Beamish said his concern was that the fee waiver sets an “unfortunate precedent”. The reconsideration motion will be put on the agenda for a future council meeting.