I'm wondering how that place (and two other ones in town much like it) are even permitted to be in the accomodations business. Hostel? If you look down the hill at Hostels International, you'll see a sprinkler system,a fire alarm system, wide hallways and stairways, multiple posted exits, emergency lighting systems....all the stuff a public accomodations provider is supposed to have. What about these other "hostels"? Old, wood framed made over houses packed full of a few dozen young people.... a disaster waiting to happen! God forbid that a small fire ever starts in one of these firetraps.....It'll be The Coconut Grove all over again. How can such a potential tragedy even be issued a business licence? Have you ever seen the rooms in the back corners of these basements? Take a peek.....imagine yourself, in this strange place, trying to find your way out of here, in the dark, in the smoke, in a panic. Imagine your kid in this situation. Where are the authorities who supervise these issues? Why don't they act? "Business is booming". Great!! Tofino lives on publicity and tourism. Is "Seven dead in rooming house blaze" the type of publicity we really want? Isn't the best way to deal with a tragedy to do so before it happens?
Does anyone ever check vacation rentals for over-occupancy ? It happens all the time.At least these bed and breakfast/hostels or whatever have supervision on site.There have been many fires and crimes at the illegal campsite by McKenzie beach but it continues to operate with no regulation.If it didn't take 5 years to rezone maybe we wouldn't be in this situation !!
The fire marshall does annual checks on all premisesHave you actually been in these establishments or are you speculating ?
Holy Alarmist Anon 5:35PM! I think we should raise the health care fees on people such as you. You are a strain on our health care system due to popped blood vessels in your head. I would also fear that one of these fine rainy winter days, when the computer room suddenly becomes too small; when cabin fever sets in; the headlines will say: "Seven dead hippies due to disgruntled local who just couldn't take it anymore. He went postal. THe carnage started with a tirade against Change. Not the pennie. And the rest is history."
5:35 here..... Dear 6:23....So your response is to attack me and suggest that I'm the one unleashing a "tirade"? How would you describe your own post? I see five lines completely devoted to my real or imagined psychopathic shortcomings, but not a single word on the subject of my post...... but you do seem to possess a great imagination. Perhaps you should look to a future as a fiction screenwriter. It's not a big deal, you're easy to dismiss..... shoot the messenger, eh?
Surely with all the high priced help at city hall they can write a bylaw
Dear Anon at 5:35. Whalers Guesthouse, is owned by a guy in Victoria and just pays HI 2% of its sales to HI and a yearly fee. It is not a HI but an affiliate. If a fire breaks out at this over capacity run place you are going to see the same outcomes. Secondly, any business in Tofino requires a business permit. I am not too sure what places you are talking about, but I am guessing you are talking about Paddlers Inn a B&B that does not offer a breakfast and runs at over capacity... puts out signs where ever they feel they want too?If you want to get the people out of the woods camping you need to relax the bylaws...and provide suitable accomodation there are people who only want to pay $20/night and there are accommodation providers who provide that.... you should be happy : >
Dorothy has to go! She holds Tofino back and continually does what is in her self interest. Look at her property on Gibson road and the hassle she put up on the road diversion. How can she vote on issues that effect her and her B&B. Conflict of interest or what! You can add Cathy to that mix too....
How do we know who voted on this issue when it was done behind closed doors ? Surely nobody with a competing business on Main St. Would participate in the discussion or vote ?
Anonymous has left a new comment on Dear Anon at 5:35. xxxxxxxxx, is owned by a guy in Victoria and just pays HI 2% of its sales to HI and a yearly fee. It is not a HI but an affiliate. If a fire breaks out at this over capacity run place you are going to see the same outcomes. Secondly, any business in Tofino requires a business permit. I am not too sure what places you are talking about, but I am guessing you are talking about xxxxxxxx a B&B that does not offer a breakfast and runs at over capacity... puts out signs where ever they feel they want too?If you want to get the people out of the woods camping you need to relax the bylaws...and provide suitable accomodation there are people who only want to pay $20/night and there are accommodation providers who provide that.... you should be happy : >
5:35 here again It's not about who owns it.....or what they do with their money.....or what type of license they have...... or who's sleeping in the woods or not. It's about a fire hazard and the idea that maybe someone's gonna get hurt, or killed...... and no one seems to care.
Anon 10:59 PMAgain, you are talking about the Building code and fire regulations. Read up on them.... Sounds like a lot of fear or fear mongering.....How about the 4th street stop upgrade.... there has not been a death, or major accident, yet we are now going to upgrade the corner hopefully not out of fear.
Nick spoke out against this bungling administration and is being punished for it.There can be no other explanation.Many "illegal" operations conduct business in town every day but the operators keep quiet or pay lip service to council and staff.This has nothing to do with zoning,safety or anything but the silencing of dissidents.This council is as bad or worse than the previous one for allowing staff to bully Tofino citizens.Just like Tacofino got bullied.and the wiener guy.
Dear fellow Tofitians,As a resident, citizen, homeowner, business owner, and taxpayer, I feel obligated in the spirit of this beautiful community to speak about an issue close to my heart, which was reported on - in the October 11, 2012, issue of The Westerly News.I run a small guesthouse for wayfarers, and I’d asked on February 28th of this year for council support with the future amendment to the current bylaw that refuses permission for some businesses to place a removable sign on their property, and in the spirit of equality, to allow me to place a sign on my property. Indeed, there was a vote cast, and the gods of democracy showed favour, allowing me a sign. For 7 full months I noticed a marked improvement in my humble business.What the gods give, they can take away - and take away they did! It came by way of a tersely worded letter telling me to remove the sign!Of all Councillors, only fellow accommodation provider - and neighbour, Councillor Baert was opposed, citing a fear of Tofino sign proliferation, (councillor Baert has a sign advertising her business). On the initial vote of the February 28th, Councillor Baert tried her best to have my request squashed.During the election campaign, all councillors stated how they wanted to support new businesses - but when it comes down to it, I haven’t experienced this.Issues of conflict? In hindsight, I don’t believe that Councillor Baert should have voted on this issue as it is a conflict of interest with her Paddlers Inn, just a few meters away. What is laughable (in her words) is she is oblivious to the idea of a conflict of interest! I am not sure what ethical standards dictate for a council member, but disclosure of assets, and conflict of similar businesses should certainly be one - no?How about supporting me Dorothy? I send people kayaking to you regularly...How long does it take to change a bylaw? I was promised by May 2012. We still don’t have those amendments, and from what I understand they are at least another 2-3 months away, while I reside in the dark spirit of obfuscation. Should it take a year to have something amended? Why, as a business owner, and assumedly an equal citizen of Tofino, can others be allowed a sign, and I am not? Are some more equal than others?Regards,Nick Jacquet
why doesn't the Chamber of Commerce stick up for businesses attacked by the village council ?or the tba ?? too cosy perhaps ? does the chamber get money from the village ?
anon 6:23 speaking.great letter nick. My earlier post was meant to be completely over-the-top as i perceived the post of anon 5:35 to be. Sadly, the post was a serious opinion. ahh well. On to the next. I disagree with many posters that this council is worse than the previous. There are different opinions on this council and some, repeat some, strong logical minds on this council. Yes master. Sorry bad joke. The voter turnout was great but it would be interesting to see the percentage breakdown of the age demographic of voting. Clearly, no matter what age, the voters' perception is that older councilmen/women will be more successful at said position. Hence the older average age of the current council. This is arguable. Not that older people cannot think outside-of-the-box but some fresh blood would be able to better understand the young majority of residents in Tofino; who are underrepresented politically and yet are the economic driving force of Tofino. Having said that, the elections this year did have a wider range of differing views of people that ran and very likely was one of the leading causes of a higher voter turnout. Not negating the frustration with past council as a driving force for turnout. To finish, I wonder how much power the council has to change things quickly? Even if there is a will to change things, the municipal governance process has to be respected for better or for worse. The peanut gallery might underestimate how difficult it may be to instigate change. Do any of us outsiders fully understand the inner workings of the government? Do we understand how much aide or obstruction the bureaucrats are responsible for? All I ask for from our council to try not to have tunnel vision. To empathize with other demographics of this diverse town.
You need to participate in a contest for among the finest blogs on the web. I'll advocate this web site!
Council has the power to change things very rapidly.They have instead chosen to keep obstructionist staff from the previous administration. I must say that John Fraser never allowed staff to try to block my Freedom of Information requests as happens with this Council. People voted for change and got more of the same.There are some logical thinkers on Council but they are outnumbered by those who have been "captured by the bureaucracy" They have learned nothing from the Yew Wood and Rosie Bay court cases and want to avoid confrontation at all costs.
Who cares ?
Furthermore.... At least this Council has disbanded the Subsidized Social Housing initiative.I must give them credit for that !!
"One of council's goals is to be more transparent in the way we do things," says Tofino's chief administrative officer Braden Smith.
re 10:59 Pleeeeease ....." there hasn't been a death.." so why should we do anything -- this kind of thinking is really kinda scary and detrimental to any progress that might ever happen in our village. I have pushed a baby in a buggy across the crosswalk ( when one can actually call it that ) at the 4th st intersection many times over the past few years and at the same time have witnessed many many cars and motor homes drive right through without stopping. Modernizing the intersection with traffic calming and some improvements to the ditches, culverts and drainage is overdue. I applaud council for taking the leadership role on this one!
2 million dollars worth ?? Some new storm drains, culverts and a flashing red light would cost a few hundred thousand and get the job done. This boondoggle ranks right up there with fast ferries and the gun registry !! 2 million dollars ? Really ? Give your head a shake !!
The Fourth and Campbell project was a carry over from the previous regime that wanted Tofino to look more like Qualicum.This came from the same great thinkers that wanted traffic circles at Chesterman's Beach. I attended the RMI meetings and there was no support voiced for the Fourth and Campbell project.These meetings were only held to give the impression that public input was important and would be considered. Some simple improvements at Fourth and Campbell are in order but I have to agree that this is a boondoggle.A crosswalk light like at Lynn Rd. would be a much more reasonable solution.
I, too, was at the RMI meetings and no 4th and Campbell St. project was even mentioned. I wholeheartedly agree that a pedestrian signal light would be sufficient. Thank you Ralph for providing this forum.Tarni
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