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2011-03-IT North Pender Island LTC Acts on Short-Term Vacation Rentals


									                                             News Release
                                             200 -1627 Fort Street Victoria BC V8R 1H8
                                             Telephone 250.405.5151 FAX: 250.405.5155
                                             Toll Free via Enquiry BC in Vancouver 604.660.2421. Elsewhere in BC 1.800.663.7867

February 2, 2011                                                                                                  2011-03-IT


VICTORIA  In a move to enforce its land use regulations, the North Pender Island Local Trust Committee has initiated bylaw
enforcement action against the owners of more than two dozen properties operating as short term vacation rentals.

The Local Trust Committee is seeking compliance with North Pender’s land use bylaw that restricts property owners from using
their residence for commercial guest accommodation. The zoning bylaws for North Pender Island indicate that the properties
are in a residential zone, where commercial guest accommodation use is not permitted.

“The community has said time and again that neighbourhoods should be for neighbours, and we want people to be aware that
we will enforce the community’s bylaw,” said Miles Drew, Islands Trust Bylaw Enforcement Coordinator. “This is an ongoing
issue of concern that we have had many many complaints about.”

Twenty-seven property owners will be sent letters in the next few days and Drew indicated the matter could be resolved before
the start of next summer’s tourist season. The purpose of the letter is to provide owners with information about the regulations
of the Land Use Bylaw and the options available to comply. The simplest option is to comply with the Land Use Bylaw by
discontinuing the operation of the short-term vacation rental. Alternatively, they could apply to amend the Land Use Bylaw and
Official Community Plan, to legalize their current use.

Owners using their property for short term vacation rentals have until March 11 to comply. Operating a short term vacation
rental from a residential property is considered a violation of the bylaw and may be subject to legal action. The bylaw provides
for fines up to $5000 per day for each day that an offence continues.

The bylaw does not affect legal bed and breakfasts, or legal resorts, hotels and motels in commercial zones, all of which are
widely available on the island. People may also continue to rent their homes as part of a bed and breakfast operation in most
zones and to rent their residential properties for periods longer than 30 days as a long-term residential use.

In accordance with the Islands Trust policies regarding bylaw investigations, enforcement actions are primarily triggered when
the Islands Trust receives complaints from community members that indicate that individuals or corporations are not complying
with the land use regulations that have been adopted by their locally-elected representatives. Efforts are then made to
investigate complaints, educate violators and obtain voluntary compliance with a community’s bylaws. In most cases, violators
have a variety of options, including ceasing or amending their operations, or applying for variances or required permits.

Islands Trust staff estimate that more than 90% of its bylaw investigation files are resolved before legal action is required.
Court action is only taken after other avenues to achieve compliance have failed.

The North Pender Island Local Trust Committee is committed to upholding its long-standing Official Community Plan policies
and zoning regulations, which prohibit the use of private homes in rural and residential zones for commercial guest
accommodation. Recently, the Courts supported these sections of the North Pender Land Use Bylaw by issuing an order to
comply to a rural property owner who was operating an unlawful resort in a rural zone.

“This is the next step in resolving the issue of unlawful commercial vacation rentals on North Pender Island”, said Drew.

                                                                      - 30 -
Miles Drew                                                   Linda Adams
Bylaw Enforcement Officer                                    Chief Administrative Officer
250.405-5175                                                 250.405.5160

           Bowen, Denman, Hornby, Gabriola, Galiano, Gambier, Lasqueti, Mayne, N. Pender, Salt Spring, Saturna, S. Pender, Thetis

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