A short-term rental battle at East Barriere Lake has caused “conflict,” pitting neighbour against neighbour in the lakeside community, one of the residents said in a letter to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
The letter followed a recent decision by the board to deny a temporary-use permit for property at 5115 East Barrier Lake, which would have allowed a Langley family to rent out its family cabin on Airbnb.
Short-term rentals are allowed under lakeshore resort and recreational-commercial zoning, but the property in question is zoned rural, allowing only one dwelling for single-family residential use. In June, neighbours and residents turned up to a TNRD public hearing on the matter, telling the board they had concerns about the impacts to their properties and community. It was the first application to go before the board since the regional district put in place short-term rental regulations.
The letter to the board, signed by neighbouring property owners Linda and Phil Hartl, listed a number of suggestions to avoid such neighbourhood conflicts in the future, including: proof of liability insurance for short-term rentals, a maximum number of guests and bookings per month, sign-off from Interior Health to verify septic systems, earlier communication with more people impacted and a visit to the applicant’s property.
“I believe that taking these additional steps prior to recommending the application would go a long way to educate the applicant and provide the planning staff with necessary facts to make their decisions,” the letter states.
Calling it a “hot” public hearing, TNRD chair Ken Gillis said he expects the suggestions to be taken into consideration, but added he has heard nothing from the director in the East Barriere Lake area to suggest it is an urgent matter.
“I understand how there might be some lingering unhappiness,” Gillis said.