If they can't stop short term rentals at the south Chesterman condos or in the Shore building, a fat lot of good a letter is going to do to force compliance to buy a license. A flea on a dog's back won't kill the dog and nor will the flea of the district sending out a letter. It will be ignored. There are councilors who don't even want to give out illegal camping tickets.If and when the short term rentals of the south Chestman and Shore buildings get shut down, then and only then will there be any sort of compliance with any rules of any kind. If I was ticketed, the first thing I would say when I went to court would be the town allows a business just like mine to operate, so why pick on me? The judge will throw the case the district has out.Any of these non compliant places can legally rent for a month at a time.
The shore and South ChesterMans won't be shut down. they are being rezoned by the district. a great policy. and give all the residential properties with a number of RVs campground zoning. what's the point of having zoning in the first place? these type of actions send a strong message to anybody who wants to make a lot of money doing whatever they feel like on whichever property they feel like to not worry about being stopped. the lawless zone.
Here's a couple suggestions.... Employers need to do something about supplying accomodations for their seasonal staff, not the District, not the taxpayers. Simply stop issuing business licenses to firms that cannot house their employees. The District needs to stop putting so many roadblocks in front of landowners wanting to develop their properties. "Amenities" blackmail on development permits must be stopped. Property owners wanting to do short term rentals need to be licensed, regulated..... and then left alone to serve the visitors to our community. (this is the "golden goose") The income from these short term business license fees plus the increased commercial property tax revenue from these re-zoned properties can then be used to increase infrastructure capacity. Would be "renters", who cannot find a beach house to rent, cheap, for 5 months a year need to pressure their employers to come up with staff accomodations. No one else cares if they have a place to shower and store their surf board for the summer.
"Crackdown" rather overstates the case. A process has begun, and the intent of staff and council is to keep it civil and reasonable. I hope we all learned from last time that the "crackdown" approach does nobody any good. There's no firm plan in place for the South Chesterman condos. Rezoning is one option on the table. Others might come up in discussions. In the meantime, the fact-finding progresses, to get an idea of how big the issue is. As the CAO announced at the STR Town Hall on 10-May, the company he contracted to monitor web advertising identified 341 unique properties in/near Tofino (no distinction as to legality). Letters will follow, apprising them of the bylaw and the district's intent to begin enforcement. A reasonable beginning, i think.
Greg, I'm admittedly not your biggest fan, but that's the most reasonable thing I've seen you post in a long time. Thanks.
I notice that The South Chesterman Condos sure seem to be getting lots of attention regarding their zoning. I wonder if that just might be because the seasonal employee surfers would just LOVE to get their hands on one of those places, monthly, so they could party, surf, wreck the place, move out, and then just leave town at the end of the season. If I owned one of those condos, I would NEVER rent it on a monthly basis. NEVER.
Please keep in mind that it's not just seasonal staff that are looking for accommodation. There are long-term locals with families scrambling to find places as well. Kudos to the district for starting this process, it's long overdue.
How can you be considered a "long term local" if you don't even have a residence here? There might be a few temporarily displaced local residents, but they wouldn't have any problem finding a new home if not for seasonal workers taking up all the rentals every summer. This is easily seen to be the case every November, when there are suddenly lots of vacant rental properties available. The "housing problem" is completely about seasonal staff, not about lack of housing for local residents.
Subsidized Housing is a good idea. Someone who works part time at a surf shop, 20 weeks per year, 40 hours a week, annual income $8,000.00 vs someone who works at a fish farm, 50 weeks per year, 40 hours a week, annual income $20,000.00. The surf shop guy, a seasonal employee with a low income (8K) qualifies for assisted housing, but the fish plant guy, with a 20K income, is considered "rich", so he won't qualify. This is so stupid that I'm amazed that Tofino Council hasn't adopted a similar policy yet.
Fish farm workers will never get the support of this council. Fish farm workers won't see it coming till it "hits them in the face".... any one who works for the aquaculture industry deserves what they get. Karma.
That's an astute observation, 1:56 PM. All our housing issues are interrelated, and addressing any one sector will have a carryover effect on all the others. The seasonal worker housing issue is getting some direct attention from the CEDAC (Community Economic Development Advisory) Committee, which hired David Innes to lay out the scope of the problem, and possible solutions both quick and long-term. From what i've seen, he's doing good work and, unlike previous attempts, something will ultimately happen to the good. I don't get the comments about fish farm workers. They're workers in our town, they deserve decent, stable housing that doesn't eat up more than 30% of their before-tax income. Same thing for the lower-wage tourism workers. In my view, our fundamental housing problem is that Tofino's real estate values are largely driven by city incomes (from people buying second or retirement homes), not Tofino wages.
Not surprised you don't get the comments about fish farm workers. It's sarcasm. While were at it. Why don't they get to have their Aquaculture Festival recognized. It was great in Coutney-Comox....Here, "They're workers in our town. They deserve decent, stable housing", but no recognition that their industry exists and they never even asked for money.Tofino's real estate values are driven by supply and demand. Tofino Council policies are as much as anything responsible for the lack of housing options.Tofino councils have joked off the supply, driving the price up with increased cost of production and a lack of approvals. The last ten years have seen proportionally and literally fewer approvals than any other ten year period in the previous forty years. Not surprising we are are starved for housing. The lack of enforcement of VR bylaws hasn't helped either. With the revenues available to be made, VR owners can out bid those simply looking for a place to stay.The ability of people to afford housing is also influenced by Tofino taxes. The rate of taxation has increased dramatically faster than the rare of Tofino wages....that is a fact. So don't foist this all on some "outsiders"
it's rather odd that the highest priority for this Council to get done is to create a downtown Disney world appearance for tourists that does not work for locals. I don't care what happens I'm not riding a bicycle to work in the pouring rain or ice and snow. it is with incredible speed that work gets approved and done done in downtown that doesn't make it easier for people to go anywhere unless theyre tourists. this approach ignores all of the people who work in town and need to get to work or get groceries or go to the doctor's office Bank Post Office etc. housing, whether it be affordable or otherwise, has taken a backseat to tourism in the great wisdom of the Council. all progress that was achieved by a previous attainable Housing committee was tossed in the trash by shortsighted folks who believe that they personally own District land and none of it should ever be dedicated to solving some of the problems that pell-mell tourism creates. in any case this Council is taking its sweet time reinventing the housing wheel with more housing consultants and experts all designed to delay anything happening until after they're out of office. that situation is as bad as doing nothing. add to the long timeframe the immediate and uncontrollable demand for real estate of all kinds here most of which are VR's or residential homes being converted to VR's kicking out the long-term tenants. many of these long-term tenants are not short-term surf party animals just here for a good time. they have long-term employment and families that are part of community. the original impetus for forming an attainable Housing committee was to acknowledge that young families or starting young families couldn't stay here to work in the hospital, work in the co-op store, or anyplace else for that matter and be part of the volunteer network, safety services, fire Department etc. what was needed was stable long-term rental housing in addition to all other types. that is still the basic problem and getting worse by the month. meanwhile we have a downtown core costing millions by now making it look like an extravagant waste of planning and money. bricks and mortar progress on housing is at a standstill and has been for years.
7:14 Agree with many things you had to say. but the Tofino Attainable Housing committee was a bust. $400,000.00 budgeted. Gone, very little to show. No accountability to the taxpayer. Irresponsible waste of hard earned money. Big dreams, little reality. Any such large sums of money need to be directly controlled by Council. At least we can vote them out......
The downtown improvement money comes from a different source than general revenue. Through the Province. There are limited ways it can be spent. Apples and Oranges
9:20 you are insane....there was never $400,000 spent on affordable housing....this is a lie propagated by those who opposed doing anything....get your facts straight before you shoot off your mouth....the documents and research are still in the district office.......the waste was tossing the work that was done aside..and doing exactly what was the wrong thing: the district owning strata units.
There was in excess of $400,000 spent on the Tofino Housing Corporation and previous initiatives with Community Futures.I have personally reviewed the files with District of Tofino staff.
9;20, You are absolutely correct. There was never $400.000.00 spent on affordable housing. It was spent on everything but. "Documents and research are still in the district office" and not one unit created. Mostly spent on salary and expenses, such as paid trips, like to Whistler to do "research" and collect "documents". The membership of the committee had Zero experience in housing development.I do not oppose spending money on attainable housing, but I do oppose waste and ineffective use of the taxpayers money I strongly believe that Tofino should financially lever some of it's considerable land stockpile to develope some rental housing, but never will I support DOT money being put into the hands of a separate body to spend (waste) as it will. I believe the District has a few stata units, not sure how many, but the District owning just ONE strata unit is something compared to nothing.
How much of that $400,000 went to Braiden Smith? Remember he worked as an employee of the THC for a few years I think before working for the DOT.
Governments should never attempt to be developers. Leave it to the private sector with experience.
if you believe the lies then you don't know what you're talking about. the district insisted money be spent on everything except an amenity policy to put off anything real being done. the district ordered the committee to spend the money on surveys etc. it wanted. then you folks claim the money was wasted. the district got what it wanted.
the district wanted nothing to happen until it was apparent that something real was going to happen so the mayor scrapped the committee and falsely claimed it was a waste of money as well as appointing the housing committee employee to the position of administrator for the district..
Everyone does know that to provide a stable work force the fish plant buses in workers from Port Alberni? One long commute for sure at 1:40 each way.But they don't need housing in Tofino!
blah, blah, blah, blah; money all gone, no housing, Stop crying and just suck it up. You seem to have been involved with his disaster, yet you have no idea how much was spent. What else needs saying. You are right on one matter. The District is partly to blame for the waste.....They gave you idiots the money. It took too long to realize their mistake. But eventually they did. Even a broken clock tells the correct time.....twice a day.
In response to 8;49. You said "the district wanted nothing to happen until it was apparent that something real was going to happen". This says it all. This failed effort was shut down, after two years of boondoggle. It was apparent that nothing "real" was going to happen. Agree with 8:26. Council please get out of the way and let the private sector go to work.
About the Tofino Housing Committee, They used to come to the weigh West Restaurant for meetings. I wonder if they were expensing their meals to the Town.
Re: 2:38 PM I would usually be the first one to be agreeing with you about letting the private sector go to work. However t don't believe the private sector is fulfilling the Community need. I can understand that the private sector wants to get the best return on their investment. Yet we cannot deny that we have a housing issue (affordable, attainable, rental, seasonal or whatever) that is not being satisfied by the private sector. We can debate whose fault that is and it may even be Councils past and present, but the problem still remains and is not getting any better.
Ralph, can you post a link to the application made by the developer for the property above the gas bar. Can't find it. It seems to be a good option for affordable housing by private developers. A good mix of options tailored for locals not outside investment. Watch council screw this up and scare off another developer.
It is incredibly difficult to develop here . A simple rezoning takes years and years.This council is no different than previous ones in that regard.Why would anybody develop a property when they can make more money running a makeshift ,illegal campsite ?
https://www.woodsmere.ca/tofino/Link to proposal behind gas station
The Tofino Housing Corporation proved that the District is as good at developing as it is at selling water.
Selling or giving away ?
Water? you mean the water the residents pay a higher rate for than the resorts? Before you get the big surprise, remember the base volume was cut from last year. Your 30 second showers just became shorter.Check your last water bill.Or did you just mean the million dollars the local residents and everyone else paid for water used by certain resorts and not properly billed to them that the district has made no effort to collect?Affordable housing should be simple compared to billing resorts for correct water usage.
The Tofino Housing Corporation was Tofino's own little Portland Hotel Society.
Mr. McMaster, how can the private sector contribute to a housing solution when there are so few approvals. I don't know that the private sector can solve all Tofino's problems, but it is worth understanding that in the last ten or so years, more than 500 units of housing or different types have been proposed to be created in Tofino by the private sector. The inability of Council and staff to make a deal to get something done, is known from here to Timbucktoo. Every proposal is nit picked to death, and smothered in "perspective" and "appropriatness" and protecting the values of the community. Not that any such concerns should be disregarded out of hand, but nothing ever gets resolved. The larger the proposal, the more impact it would have on housing solutions, the more the Councillors eyes glaze over, the palms get sweaty, in a panic to find a way to reject, staff starts wondering, "How are we being taken for a ride" better say no it is much safer, and "No Way we want it brown" and "that land should be a park". What is surprising is that there are people still trying.... There are folks who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with professional help (architects, engineers ,planners) trying to negotiate the rat maze but are unable to get "TOFINO" to agree to anything. Then they give up. So let's just speak the truth. A lot of people do not want development and Tofino Councils, they may want housing, an economy, and jobs, but they don't want development either. Maybe, if it is "boutique" like, cool and harmless like a little koala forest retreat, here or there, but that hasn"t made a dent on the problem. Yet the people who continuosly and consistently say "NO", have no solutions.
Woodsmere got already a taste of what they can expect from Tofino Council when they asked for a burning permit to clear the lot behind the gas station .My prediction: That property will Not be developed !Woodsmere will be bombarded with “nonsense" from our Elites for a couple of years and then it will be listed again as a property with "great development opportunity” for the next FOOL that thinks “life is good in Tofino” .
The title indicates that the property has not changed hands. The developer also had issues with Development Cost Charges.
Many new attainable/affordable housing units just built by private sector at the corner of Gibson and Campbell. A great mix of live/work units ie Tofino Coffee and a number of nice townhouses....still a couple for sale. Tofino needs 1 or 2 more traditional monthly rental apt. buildings. DOT should be offering land/incentives to private sector developers for those...
11:58 PM, as far as i've heard there is NO official application for the Woodsmere land behind the Gas Bar. I gather they are working on one, but it hasn't officially come forward yet. 7:02 PM, the district is not in a position to collect that "million dollars." We erred, big time, no doubt about it. The mistake was found, and it's over. And i have to echo Coun. McMaster here: there's a big market failure in Tofino. Our housing prices are driven not by local wages but by city people, earning city wages, paying city prices for second homes or investment homes. Now that the Lower Mainland bubble has put housing out of reach there, Tofino must look pretty appealing. The only way i can see that we are going to get affordable housing for Tofino residents is if the district acts, either through at arms-length housing corporation, or through requiring affordable units from developments as an amenity. If For the record, i'd say i'm pro-development, but for development that does the community some good. More town houses and condos aimed at the non-resident market are just going to load up our fragile infrastructure, not house our young families. Ralph, every developer has issues with DCCs --- they cut into the profit margin, pure and simple. We could lower DCCs, but the infrastructure burden then falls onto taxpayers. We can have a discussion over the size of the DCCs, but we can't drop them too much. 2:40 PM, you're right, that Gateway development did help fill a local need, and developer Chris Lefevre came to council recently with an even bigger idea along those lines for his vacant land beside Marina West. I, for one, am hopeful.
Apparently the developer didn't want to pay ANY development cost charges . Most developers know that DCCs are just the cost of doing business. Our current DCCs are based on an old scheme of going to Kennedy Lake for water .
There were two single family homes on Neill St that sold for $ 200,000 each last year . Both needed work but were basically sound. Recently two duplexes were sold at less than $ 300,000 a side . All affordable housing with no government involvement . The District of Tofino has squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars on affordable housing without accomplishing anything .
Greg, Maybe you could tell us about the infrastructure improvements that Dcc money has paid for in the last twenty years...Maybe you could tell us what the list of projects are that the current DCC bylaw outlines as to be accomplished in the subsequent five year period....from it's adoption.....When was that adoption?As for the collection of the million dollars of water that was not billed for, tell us about the serious effort that was made to collect that money....Did you send out bills or what? What did the District Lawyers say about that.?
There are currently condo projects proceeding at Yew Wood and at Hellesen Drive . Let's hope council works with the developer in a reasonable manner . This should be about 40 condos. This with no government involvement.
Greg, I know of someone who claims to have gone into the district office and pointed out to the district that the water bills at the place they were working were wrong. Nothing was done.When the resorts knowingly underpaid for their water and sewer, what part of that makes it improper to ask for payment of the corrected billing???!!? I am sure if my meter was currently read incorrectly I would be asked to pay for the corrected amounts. Every other user had higher water bills than necessary and that has and continues to impact the cost of living here.Please explain why we can't collect the money owing.Just so you know in advance whatever lame answer you come up with as to why we can't, our collective answer is to get a better lawyer.
A good DCC bylaw is to be development enabling. The infrastructure needed is to be covered by Dcc's contributions... Yet lack of infrastructure is often sited as the reason Tofino can not approve more development. Yet without approvals the District collects no money. CATCH 22, If you do not collect enough money in a reasonable period of time, (because you do not approve enough development) to improve the infrastructure as required, you are stuck. Projected approval rates where grossly overestimated in the Tofino DCC bylaw. Councils do not want development. This whole process, as implemented in Tofino, is designed to fail. On another issue, the two condo sites Ralph mentions were a full ten years in the making. Both developers probably faced the prospect of bankruptcy as both suffered horrendous, lengthy and expensive legal battles to get these properties to market. In the end, both legal battles were successful for the Developers and showed the District's punitive approach to applications. Both met OCP requirements and where designed to provide housing. As have been previously stated, most just give up....
sustainable development = no developmentsmart growth= no growthsmart = stupid
10:34 The very definition of "Double Think"
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