Being good neighbours

Despite the hustle and bustle surrounding the resort over this busy season, generally Sun Peaks is one of the quietest places I’ve lived — and I grew up on an isolated prairie farm. Outside of peak visitation periods we enjoy an almost blissful peace and quiet.

Many of us have become so used to it that perhaps our expectations are not what they should be when it comes to acceptable levels of noise, particularly in the core of the village. Some of us of have forgotten that first and foremost, Sun Peaks is a tourist destination, not only a quiet mountain town.

The balance between commercial operations and residential units has been an ongoing theme throughout the development and growth of the village, conflict ebbing and flowing as new businesses come in and as residential properties above or around them change hands. A few business owners I’ve recently spoken with feel the cycle is coming to a high point once again.

These are responsible people who take pride in their businesses and go to great lengths to ensure they are following the letter of the many laws, including provincial liquor laws, municipal bylaws, property strata bylaws and others.

They have conducted their own due diligence to ensure they operate within the set requirements, such as times and capacities, but many still run into conflict with nearby residential unit owners or guests staying close by, who feel entitled to lodge complaints, no matter the time or the reason.

These business owners don’t want to impede on anyone’s enjoyment of Sun Peaks. In fact, just the opposite.

In many cases I know businesses have gone above and beyond, making concessions and incurring extra costs I doubt would be entertained in larger centres. This goes from extra training with staff to help reduce patron noise to even purchasing the residential unit above them, just to be able to conduct their business.

These business owners feel that buying above or close to a commercial space in the village core should come with a disclaimer — expect a certain amount of noise. They’ve made an investment in the community and expect to be able to operate their businesses without major problems as long as they follow the rules.

If people are seeking absolute quiet, perhaps they should consider units farther away from the commercial centre. While they won’t be strolling out of an elevator, clicking on their skis and loading the lift within 30 seconds, most places in Sun Peaks are still quite accessible when it comes to ski in, ski out.

And don’t forget to take a deep breathe, relax, live, and let live. We’re all here for a good time, whether it’s permanently or for a weekend.