Rezoning continues through municipality

34 Applications Being Processed

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The Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) is continuing to work through rezoning bylaws for single-family homes to legally allow short-term tourist accommodation.

The municipality has received 34 applications since the process began last fall and council adopted 14 properties’ new zoning on Feb. 1 after being approved by the provincial government.

“The idea of this is to give us some ability to manage this stuff,” said chief administrative officer Rob Bremner. “We can control things like where they are putting their snow, these large parking lots appearing on people’s front lawns, we can start to monitor noise. It gives us actually some tools we didn’t have before.”

Council adopted a list of guidelines on Feb. 15, which can be used when issues around zoning bylaws arise. Of the rezoning applications that SPMRM has received, there has only been one minor issue, but the guidelines are in place to ensure all home owners receive the same treatment should further issues arise.

“We haven’t really hit any issues. We just had a minor issue where someone had converted a crawlspace into a bedroom so it put them over their allowable square footage, so council made him apply for a variation to the zoning bylaw,” Bremner said.

“Council is not trying to throw up roadblocks, they’re trying to make this a legal entity but still control it to a point where it doesn’t become a nuisance in the neighbourhood.”

SPMRM is also working toward fixing building code issues in relation to the zoning in place on Burfield Drive to permit legal tourist accommodations.

“There’s some things that were probably done years ago that do not meet code and put peoples’ lives in danger and that’s council’s biggest issue,” he said. “How do we get those places that put people’s lives in danger out of here and make sure that the accommodation that is available out there is safe?”

Safety of residents and visitors is the primary concern of SPMRM during the rezoning process, according to Bremner. Information for Burfield Drive has been sent to the building code consultant and will also be sent to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. SPMRM will merge the information from both sources to create a discussion paper, which Bremner said he hopes will be ready in early March.

The municipality also plans to move onto tourist accommodation rezoning for townhomes once the single-family homes are properly rezoned.

“We’re trying to deal with this in stages. There’s some other issues out there related around townhomes and things that don’t have (tourist accommodation) zoning, so we’re working on that aspect,” Bremner said.

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