At the Aug. 17 regular council meeting Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipal (SPMRM) council decided to extend the application deadline for rezoning illegal suites on Burfieid Dr. to April 30, 2022.
Municipal staff cited several reasons for recommending the extension, including multiple complaints received from rental tenants of ‘renovictions’ at a crucial time to find accommodation for winter staff in an already extremely tight rental housing market. Council also noted it was a short-term solution to the larger housing scarcity issue and mentioned an upcoming request for proposals regarding a non-market employee housing strategy.
Staff also explained there were delays related to COVID-19 and limited availability of building inspectors and application processing services through the Thompson Nicola Regional District.
Efforts to legalize suites have been underway since 2017. By the end of 2019 few applications had been submitted and council set a deadline of Oct. 31, 2021.
To date, only seven properties have been rezoned, with a dozen others currently undergoing the process. The majority of the 45 occupied lots on Burfield Dr. are stratified duplexes.
To legalize suites property owners must submit a site-specific rezoning amendment that includes a report by a certified code consultant outlining requirements to bring the property up to date with all code and bylaw regulations. Under current legislation, stratified duplexes are permitted only one auxiliary suite per side and any additional suites must be decommissioned.
Council stated they will be sending out an updated information package to owners on Burfield Dr. and said they do not force tenants to move out unless a suite is being decommissioned.
Property owners found to be in violation of the regulations after the deadline can face fines up to $1,000 per day and a bylaw contravention notice placed on the property title.