Islands Trust News

DECEMBER 2019 ISLANDS TRUST COUNCIL PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

METULIYE, Victoria – The Islands Trust Council invites members of the public to observe and participate in its next quarterly business meeting December 3-5, 2019. The meeting is being held in the traditional territory of the Lekwungen People of Songhees and Esquimalt. The meeting venue is the Coast Victoria Hotel, 146 Kingston Street, Victoria BC.

Members of the community are encouraged to attend a delegation and town hall session on Wednesday, December 4, starting at 1:00 p.m. Designed to promote dialogue between islanders and trustees, the session is an opportunity for the public to ask questions and make suggestions about the work of Trust Council. Trust Council welcomes input about how the Islands Trust can improve on delivery of its mandate.

Persons or organizations wishing to make a formal delegation are asked to send their request in writing at least three (3) weeks before the meeting. The topic, speaker’s name, and contact information must be sent to Jas Chonk (email: jchonk@islandstrust.bc.ca) by Wednesday, November 13. Guidelines for presentations to Council can be viewed online here: http://islandstrust.bc.ca/talktocouncil.

Sessions during Trust Council will include:
Reconciliation Action Plan 
– Residential School Presentation
National Marine Conservation Area Reserve for Southern Strait of Georgia Session
Trustee Roundtable 
– This session is an opportunity for trustees to exchange information about common island topics.

Regular Agenda Items – During these sessions, Trust Council considers and discusses topics related to its core business. Trust Council will review advocacy and policy positions on a variety of topics, and review recommendations from the Local Planning, Trust Programs, and Financial Planning committees regarding proposed work programs for the next quarter. Trust Council will consider final adoption of the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.

Delegations and Town Hall – From 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4, Trust Council will invite members of the public to present their federation-wide concerns to trustees, ask questions and, make suggestions about the work of Trust Council.

Closed Sessions – In closed sessions, trustees will review and consider litigation and personnel matters.
The meeting schedule and agenda package will be posted to the Islands Trust website calendar by November 25th.

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The Islands Trust is a federation of special-purpose local government bodies representing 26,000 people living within the Islands Trust Area and another 10,000 non-resident property-owners. The Islands Trust is responsible for preserving and protecting the unique environment and amenities of the Islands Trust Area through planning and regulating land use, development management, land conservation, education, in co-operation with First Nations and other agencies. The area covers the islands and waters between the British Columbia mainland and southern Vancouver Island. It includes 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller islands covering 5200 square kilometres.

The 26-member Islands Trust Council makes decisions about overall policy and financial management for the Islands Trust and has broad responsibilities to uphold the Islands Trust mandate to preserve and protect the islands. Trust Council does not make local land use decisions, which are the responsibility of the local trustees within their respective local trust areas.

Contact: Peter Luckham, Chair, Islands Trust Council 250.210.2553 or Russ Hotsenpiller, Chief Administrative Officer 250.405.5160

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August 28, 2019

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 660-2421. Elsewhere in BC 1.800.663.7867information@islandstrust.bc.ca www.islandstrust.bc.ca

2019-19-IT

SALT SPRING ISLAND TAKES LEGAL ACTION ON UNLAWFUL SHORT TERM VACTION RENTAL

Coast Salish Territory, Salt Spring Island—The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) has authorized legal action be taken against the owner of an unlawful short-term vacation rental (STVR) located on an Upper Ganges Road property. The SSI LTC is seeking a court order stopping the use of the property as a STVR, which is contrary to the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee Land Use Bylaw.

In response to the ongoing housing crisis on Salt Spring, the SSI LTC has taken a proactive approach on unlawful STVRs, which are potentially removing accommodation from the long-term housing market.

“Islands Trust has heard from the public about growing concerns over the impacts of STVRs on their lives and thecommunity at large,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Salt Spring Island LTC. “In addition to the very real concerns that these unlawful STVRs are affecting the amount of long-term rental housing available for island residents, we’ve also heard about increased noise, problems with traffic and parking, and water issues from these operations. This is why the LTC has requested that bylaw officers take a proactive approach when dealing with STVRs.”

The house in question is a single family dwelling. The owner does not live on site, and the property has been managed by a third party individual who manages several STVRs. The use of a single family dwelling for the purpose of a short- term vacation rental is prohibited on Salt Spring. The island’s Land Use Bylaw only permits temporary tourist accommodation in single family dwellings in some zones, if it is provided as home-based bed and breakfast accommodation that is accessory to a residential use and operated by a person permanently residing on the property. The Land Use Bylaw was developed through extensive public engagement. The regulations covering bed and breakfast accommodations are designed to support a vision of tourism that is small-scale, low-impact, and encourages meaningful connections with the Salt Spring community.

The property has been the subject of numerous complaints dating back to 2017. Islands Trust Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement staff have notified the owner of the property, along with their agent, on multiple occasions. Despite repeated requests to the operator of the STVR to cease operations, the STVR continues to be active.

“We’ve had numerous complaints from the public regarding the property in question,” said David Marlor, Director, Local Planning Services. “There’s also evidence that the property is operating unlawfully as a vacation rental and is often occupied by vacationers. Bed and breakfasts and other lawful, home-based businesses are required to comply with the Salt Spring Island Land Use Bylaw, and it is a reasonable expectation that competing temporary tourist accommodations should also comply with those bylaws and other regulations.”

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The Islands Trust is a federation of local government bodies representing 26,000 people living within the Islands Trust Area and another 10,000 non-resident property-owners. The Islands Trust is responsible for preserving and protecting the unique environment and amenities of the Islands Trust Area through planning and regulating land use, development management, education, co-operation with other agencies, and land conservation. The area covers the islands and waters between the British Columbia mainland and southern Vancouver Island. It includes 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller islands covering 5200 square kilometres.

CONTACT: David Marlor, Director, Local Planning Services, 250.405.5169
Peter Luckham, Chair, Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee, 250.210.2553

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August 29, 2019

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 660-2421. Elsewhere in BC 1.800.663.7867information@islandstrust.bc.ca www.islandstrust.bc.ca

2019-20-IT

GALIANO LOCAL TRUST COMMITTEE TAKES LEGAL ACTION ON UNLAWFUL SHORT TERM VACTION RENTAL

Coast Salish Territory, Galiano Island—The Galiano Island Local Trust Committee has authorized legal action be taken against the owners of a property located on Warbler Road. The Local Trust Committee is seeking a court order stopping the property from being used as a short-term vacation rental (STVR) and from being used as a commercial resort-type accommodation for yoga retreats.

The use of an entire house for a STVR without the premises being used as a residence is prohibited on Galiano Island. The use of residential property for fully-catered resort-type accommodation is also prohibited. The island’s OfficialCommunity Plan and Land Use Bylaw only permit short-term vacation rentals in lawful cottages and suites, and as a home occupation that is accessory to residential use, while the operator is living on the lot. The Official Community Plan and Land Use Bylaw were developed through extensive public engagement. The policies and regulations covering STVRs are designed to support a vision of tourism that is small-scale, low-impact, and encourages meaningful connections with the Galiano Island community.

Since January 2019, Islands Trust Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement staff have notified the owners of the property on multiple occasions that this operation is unlawful. Despite repeated requests to the operator to cease operations, the STVR continues to be active and advertised online.

“The property in question has been advertising eight bedrooms for short-term vacation rental use,” said WarrenDingman, Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement Manager. “It is the largest short-term vacation rental operation on the island and there is no full-time resident on the property. In addition, there is evidence that the property is operating unlawfully as a resort and a yoga retreat. Bed and breakfast and short-term vacation rental operations are permitted on Galiano Island, but with a limit of three bedrooms. An operation advertising and utilizing more than twice that number is beyond what was anticipated as a home occupation.”

“Galiano Island residents have growing concerns about the availability of housing for island residents and the impact of short-term vacation rentals on the housing stock” said Dan Rogers, Chair of the Galiano Island Local Trust Committee.“We’ve been made aware of very serious water issues in the neighbourhood affected, including reports of groundwater shortages, with some residents drilling new wells. We are already dealing with the effects of climate change on the islands and non-permitted STVRs are an added strain on island resources.”

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The Islands Trust is a federation of local government bodies representing 26,000 people living within the Islands Trust Area and another 10,000 non-resident property-owners. The Islands Trust is responsible for preserving and protecting the unique environment and amenities of the Islands Trust Area through planning and regulating land use, development management, education, co-operation with other agencies, and land conservation. The area covers the islands and waters between the British Columbia mainland and southern Vancouver Island. It includes 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller islands covering 5200 square kilometres.

CONTACT: Warren Dingman, Bylaw Compliance & Enforcement Manager, 250.405.5196 Dan Rogers, Chair, Galiano Island Local Trust Committee, 604.220.1500