North Island Gazette file photo of municipal hall sign.

North Island Gazette file photo of municipal hall sign.

Muted response to vacation rental public hearing

Only two residents submitted comment for council’s consideration

The District of Port Hardy held a public hearing on two proposed bylaw changes, one would allow short-term vacation rentals such as Air B&B, and the other would allow modular homes on residential properties.

One resident, Tami Kernachan, submitted a written comment to council, which was read out at the hearing, and one resident asked questions via chat in the hearing.

Council will take the comments into consideration as they determine whether to go ahead with the proposed bylaw changes.

Kernachan’s primary comment was to question whether this is the right time to be amending a bylaw which could encourage travel, in the midst of a pandemic.

She also expressed concern about how short-term vacation rentals will affect neighbours, especially where the owners are not locals. Bed & Breakfasts are different because the owner/operators are on site to address issues that come up with guests, and they are regulated. She suggested it would be better for the district to keep accommodations directed to registered hotels, inns and B&B’s, rather than ad hoc property owners.

She also raised concern about how modular homes added to residential properties may affect the property value of surrounding real estate.

Council will be making a decision on the bylaws in February.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


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