Thursday, February 23, 2017

Short Term Rental License Rates and Fines

There has been little consistency from the District with regards to rates for Short Term rental operations.In 2005 the fee was $800.00. Then it went down and now it has gone up to finance the investigation of Undocumented Accommodation Providers.In the past few years Tofino has been a Sanctuary City for UAPs but is now reflecting the Law and Order mandate seen in the Trump administration.Fines have already gone out to South Chestermans condo owners .

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any updates on Ecogate?

Anonymous said...

Why were they $800 in 2005 ????

Anonymous said...

Stupidest comment you have ever come up with Ralphy. "reflecting ....Trump". Reaching and overreaching for analogy. Maybe you should just compose some poetry, where your artistic licence is justified, and have done with it. Ahh! You just did.

Ralph Tieleman said...

thank you

Anonymous said...

WTF is a "UAP"?

Ralph Tieleman said...

Undocumented Accommodation Provider . It is the same politically correct jargon as Undocumented Immigrant instead of Illegal alien .

Anonymous said...

How much are the fines and are they daily for non compliance?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the stratas and apartments aren't qualified for recycle or garbage pick-up, because they're classed as "commercial". However they cannot do short term rentals because they're classed as "residential". The rules apply to some, not to others. Some, it seems, are more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

Re 12:22PM There are pros and cons to living ia a strata, and that is your choice. However zone regulations apply to every one.

Anonymous said...

Re: 6:27

Sadly the zoning regulations don't apply to everyone and they are still not enforced. Look at the Eco-Lodge (BC Assessments say dorms, Zoning irregularities) This place is like a school, various different groups of have's and have-nots. If you think for a second the rules are applied fairly..... the coop has Kool-aid for sale.

Anonymous said...

3:18
Actually, I found Ralph's off the cuff analogy to be quite spot on.

I heard recently that the DOT is planning to put up a wall around the South Chesterman Beach Homes property.

;-)

Anonymous said...

From 12:56

...oh I forgot to mention...that they want the owners to pay for it as well.

Rogue Wave said...

Several months ago, the DOT announced in the Westerly that it would be utilizing “scraping” software(offered by a high falutin' surveillance type of company located in San Francisco) that would “scour" the internet in search of anyone providing accommodation illegally. Anyone doing so would be fined heavily if caught. The monies raised by the fines would be used to cover the cost of bylaw enforcement. In the interim, the scope of their target seems to have expanded to include those who operate short term rentals at SCBH. Immediately after a recent council meeting, the DOT demanded that all owners cease operations immediately and suspend all forms of advertising. Fines have been levied against legitimate businesses that have operated successfully in Tofino for years. Businesses that have have provided service for thousands upon thousands tourists over the years, the same tourists all of which frequented other Tofino businesses leaving their money behind…are now being treated like criminals. I understand the zoning of SCB Homes has always been an issue, but for the DOT to perversely and tyrannically demand that these owners close up shop almost overnight reveals gross negligence and a complete lack of respect for all those owners who chose to invest in Tofino long ago. If anything the DOT has revealed how feeble its business acumen truly is. Instead of looking for a win win situation to attract investment and keep current investors, the DOT has chosen with very little notice to aggressively shut them down in lieu of any sort of discussion. The latest move on behalf of the DOT constitutes non-physical violence. From out of left field, owners are being served with fines while guests are still in the suites. What is this…Nazi Germany? Perhaps the DOT needs to be informed that many tourists have already cancelled their plans to come to Tofino. People are going elsewhere. For once the DOT needs to understand that the owners of SCB Homes are not a cabal of devious, rich people siphoning money out of Tofino and taking the bread out of the mouthes of Tofino’s residents.

The DOT’s agenda has been in the works for some time, and behind closed doors, with very little public consultation. They appear to remain uninterested in a debating the zoning issue. Why else would the bulk of owners be wandering around in a daze currently with very little information coming from the DOT except threats of punishment?

On a final note, the SCBH complex is a shining example of what works in Tofino, and yet, the DOT seems adamant about dismantling it. Structurally, its design is perfect for short term vacation rentals. Its strata management company and local contractors do a great job in maintaining the smoothness of its operation. The complex is not suited for long term living or monthly rentals. The units have no storage space, indoor and out. If the DOT believes that turning these units into monthly rentals will help solve the the affordable housing crisis, they might want to seriously reconsider that notion. The market values would have to drop substantially for monthly rentals to occur. Although the likelihood of that occurring is slim, monthly rentals would turn the place into a slum in no time. If SCBH owners do not receive the zoning they are asking for, then, the units will eventually be sold to absentee owners who come once or twice a year to Tofino. Essentially, DOT’s worst fear would be realized... that the neighbourhood will go dark. Indeed it will, if their stubbornness and inflexibility persist.

Anonymous said...

Rogue Wave has left a new comment on your post "Short Term Rental License Rates and Fines":

Several months ago, the DOT announced in the Westerly that it would be utilizing “scraping” software(offered by a high falutin' surveillance type of company located in San Francisco) that would “scour" the internet in search of anyone providing accommodation illegally. Anyone doing so would be fined heavily if caught. The monies raised by the fines would be used to cover the cost of bylaw enforcement. In the interim, the scope of their target seems to have expanded to include those who operate short term rentals at SCBH. Immediately after a recent council meeting, the DOT demanded that all owners cease operations immediately and suspend all forms of advertising. Fines have been levied against legitimate businesses that have operated successfully in Tofino for years. Businesses that have have provided service for thousands upon thousands tourists over the years, the same tourists all of which frequented other Tofino businesses leaving their money behind…are now being treated like criminals. I understand the zoning of SCB Homes has always been an issue, but for the DOT to perversely and tyrannically demand that these owners close up shop almost overnight reveals gross negligence and a complete lack of respect for all those owners who chose to invest in Tofino long ago. If anything the DOT has revealed how feeble its business acumen truly is. Instead of looking for a win win situation to attract investment and keep current investors, the DOT has chosen with very little notice to aggressively shut them down in lieu of any sort of discussion. The latest move on behalf of the DOT constitutes non-physical violence. From out of left field, owners are being served with fines while guests are still in the suites. What is this Germany? Perhaps the DOT needs to be informed that many tourists have already cancelled their plans to come to Tofino. People are going elsewhere. For once the DOT needs to understand that the owners of SCB Homes are not a cabal of devious, rich people siphoning money out of Tofino and taking the bread out of the mouthes of Tofino’s residents.

The DOT’s agenda has been in the works for some time, and behind closed doors, with very little public consultation. They appear to remain uninterested in a debating the zoning issue. Why else would the bulk of owners be wandering around in a daze currently with very little information coming from the DOT except threats of punishment?

On a final note, the SCBH complex is a shining example of what works in Tofino, and yet, the DOT seems adamant about dismantling it. Structurally, its design is perfect for short term vacation rentals. Its strata management company and local contractors do a great job in maintaining the smoothness of its operation. The complex is not suited for long term living or monthly rentals. The units have no storage space, indoor and out. If the DOT believes that turning these units into monthly rentals will help solve the the affordable housing crisis, they might want to seriously reconsider that notion. The market values would have to drop substantially for monthly rentals to occur. Although the likelihood of that occurring is slim, monthly rentals would turn the place into a slum in no time. If SCBH owners do not receive the zoning they are asking for, then, the units will eventually be sold to absentee owners who come once or twice a year to Tofino. Essentially, DOT’s worst fear would be realized... that the neighbourhood will go dark. Indeed it will, if their stubbornness and inflexibility persist.


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Posted by Rogue Wave to tofino news at March 1, 2017 at 3:29 PM

Anonymous said...

wow ... brilliant !!
finally a comment of reason among a sea of ignorant & uneducated ... thank you Rogue Wave ! Whoever you are ... you should run for council ... get rid of those self-serving ancient thinkers ... you are one civilized surfer !!

Anonymous said...

@4:17

I agree with your comments about South Chesterman becoming a dark neighbourhood if they shut it down. It's almost guaranteed.

However, have you been living under a f'ing rock for the last 18 months? The District is doing EXACTLY what they said they would do. They were pretty clear with how they would approach this and they've announced each step of the process publicly. No mercy should be given to anyone still operating or advertising illegal rentals.

Rogue Wave said...

Well if the DOT was absolutely certain it was going lay the hammer down on SCBH rentals eighteen months prior to 2017, why were the owners asked to apply for rezoning several months before 2017. I believe they did, last fall. Was it true the Mayor was asked to answer questions in regards to the procedure to rezone ? She offered to attend the conference call meeting...which she did.

Well, it appears as if someone was speaking with a forked tongue.



Anonymous said...

Bravo Rogue Wave! Well thought out and written. A dark neighbourhood will attract more problems for residents of scbh and the adjacent neighbourhoods turning a well managed micro-community into a problem rather celebrating an asset that Tofino can be proud of.

Disgarding well designed properties, with owners who appreciate one of Canada's most beautiful destinations, is short sighted. Worse is making the owners out to be unscrupulous, lawless and greedy, not reflective of the core values that attracts people to Tofino or who the owners are. SCBH owners are just regular people who enjoy the privilege of being a part of Tofino, a harmonious community that embraces its' challenges and collaborates to find solutions for everyone rather than building walls and defaming each other, an activity that will not bring out the best in individuals, will lead to social mis-trust and divisiveness and more problems, a very slippery slope - this is not Tofino.

SCBH is NOT the answer to the housing crisis, an issue much bigger than solutions found there. The DOT must look beyond the easy perceived answer to deal with the issue effectively; two recent announcements for appropriate housing are in the works and will deal with the issue without putting tax payers against tax payers - for me this is the prime responsibility of council - to ensure a common unity (community) and promote cooperation with pro- active solutions that move Tofino forward rather than showing force through strong arm tactics. Show no mercy!?...what era is this from? this is not Tofino. We are privileged to be part of Tofino - let's find a way to reflect this privilege, avoid blaming, appreciate our diversity and find constructive solutions.

Anonymous said...

What? Invited SCBH owners for re-zoning and then fines were sent out before full deliberation was completed by Council? Sounds like an underhanded and planned strategy, lacking integrity. Might be reflecting more serious problems if DOT is willing to operate at this level. Citizens must demand better behaviour from the DOT - let's keep our eye on the important issues and not tricked by the "slight of hand"... who is benefitting here? Is this a distraction- what are we missing?

Ralph Tieleman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph Tieleman said...

Ken Gibson once referred to Chesterman's Beach as a distinct and separate society.

Anonymous said...

If any of the owners of the condos bought them without reviewing the bylaws associated with them they were clearly negligent. And Rogue Wave, the asking prices for these units will drop. The current prices are artificial based on the past assumption that there was lots of revenue potential. The same holds true for many other Tofino properties. The owners of these units should be grateful that they had all these years of illegal revenue. I'm sure that some of these units were paid for more than once over with illegal nightly rentals. If you don't follow the law you take a risk of being busted. Stop crying!

Anonymous said...

Well said 7:51 !!!! Here here !!!
Please send your letter to the Westerly for all to read !!!

This forum is getting much more sensible and intelligent !!!

And yes, as residents that pay the highest taxes in our community they certainly do feel separate & with no appreciation.

The original townsfolk had ample opportunity to purchase on the beach back in the 70's & 80's ... weren't they originally 1 acre lots for $5,000 ? Then once they were made into 1/2 acre lots they began to sell for $15,000 ??
The residents at the time didn't feel the need as Chesterman Beach was their beach so why buy out that far from town ?
Times sure have changed ... envy & jealousy have no place just because folks from out of town had the foresight to recognize a good thing !!



Anonymous said...

You are completely wrong wrong wrong 9:26 !!!

It's not the VR use that makes the values high - it's simple real estate location !!
Nothing artificial about oceanfront ... d'uh !!!

The original phases were sold with a minimum 3 night rental permitted ... again d'uh !!
What would be your brilliant suggestion going forward ?

Ralph Tieleman said...

When Howie first offered the lots at Chesterman's Beach ,there was no sewer or water services.This changed in 1984 and the lots prices went up.In addition there was vehicular traffic allowed on the beach when the lots were first offered.It was fun to play bumper tag on acid.

Anonymous said...

Haha - Hilarious !!
Did your family consider possibly purchasing a lot Ralph ?
So cheap back then !!!

Ralph Tieleman said...

Howie offered us deals on those lots but as there was no sewer or water they were of little use. Many people that did buy them came by my father's garage to fill their water jugs. Lots of locals did buy lots there after a while. Ratso had an acreage , Mike Thatcher, Sulo, Angus MacKay, Merry Bewick, Bruwhilers etc . I think Neil Buckle built one of the first houses at Chestermans.Crazy Ron bought a lot where the brick house is now . Back then it was affordable housing and the more expensive lots were closer to the school.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 9:26... You sure do have a hate on for someone or something at South Chestermans. (or is it jealousy?) What did they do to harm you (or anyone else)? When we think of law enforcement or crime, there's usually a victim. Who's the victim in this case? Or do you just hate for the sake of hating? Have you stopped to think of the benefits that this development brings, or could bring, to the community? Tourism accomodations, jobs, commercial rated property taxes, amenities contributions, license fees, RMI hotel tax contributions, customers for service businesses. Add all of that up, it's a lot of money that the DOT could sorely use at this time. Instead, you'd prefer to see the units sit there empty? Do you really hate those folks that badly?

Anonymous said...

Wow - super interesting !!!
I wonder how many original purchasers are still there ?

Rogue Wave said...

9:26

If current prices are inflated as you say, and owners have been profiting from illegally renting them over the years, is the DOT not also complicit in that? Did it not join in on the feast by collecting all those high property taxes? Oh and not to mention, the Municipal Tourist Tax that it collected from the rental of those SCBH units from its inception. Perhaps you want to look in the mirror and ask yourself as a resident of Tofino( if indeed you are), if you personally benefitted from the intake of those taxes in some way, shape or form. If that area was just left bush and there were no SCBH rentals, would the district be left with a smaller tax base to play with? Where do you think the money comes from for the DOT to make the improvements to our town that it has? That much I will give them credit for. We've come a long way from being a ramshackle outpost.

As for the prices on the SCBH residences dropping, I tend to disagree with you. Time will prove you wrong. Perhaps you should purchase one now as an investment before the prices start soaring. ;-)

Your assertion that the SCBH units were paid for more than once with illegal monthly rentals is baseless. If you were to open any book on basic accounting and conduct the math, you might find that SCBH ownership is not cheap and operating a vacation rental business is not as lucrative as you surmise.

For the past eighteen years, the DOT has allowed the owners of SCBH to operate short-term rentals. If they were illegal, why did the DOT not shut them down in all that time then? To say as you have that these people have been operating illegal operations makes them appear as criminals. And now they must be grateful, as if in some slave/master relationship with the DOT for all the benefits they received??? Many parties benefited from the short term rentals at SCBH...the owners, the guests, the DOT, the community, local contractors...

It appears you like to see your fellow working man/woman punished for having made good business decisions that in reality enhanced the quality of life for many, many others and brought harm to no one.



Ralph Tieleman said...

It is interesting to note that the District is going after illegal activity at South Chesterman's but ignores illegal activity at the many illegal campgrounds around town.Not many dope dealers or bicycle and surfboard thieves at South Chesterman's.
Go figure.....

Rogue Wave said...

To 9:12 and 9:32

At the risk of being presumptuous, I am sensing that you are one and the same person.

I'd like to say thank-you. Your comments were well received by me. I admire your sense of justice and fairness, keen perceptiveness, understanding, spirit of cooperation, and above all your empathy for your fellow man/woman.

Your mindset is indeed a positive force in today's world.

Rogue Wave said...

11:17

Thank-you Ralph.

I just learned something.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh good point ! No taxation from those illegals !!
Another example of the DOT being completely out to lunch with personal agendas ... time for new progressive thinkers ... this stale ridiculous lot should retire ... it's true what they say - smart people don't enter politics ... yes its a thankless job but can reason & logic not prevail ???

Ralph Tieleman said...

I ran in 1996

Anonymous said...

Re: 11;31 They ignored the covenant they'd agreed too when they purchased the place, they have defied the DOT's zoning regulations and they have cheated every legal accommodation provider in town. Now you seriously expect me to believe that these people will actually start paying taxes should they ever be legalized! Time to change the flavour of your Kool-Aid!

Anonymous said...

Ha - they have been paying taxes !!! Where do you think the 2% tax goes ?
Where were you in 2005 at the last go around ?
Were you even here ?
You clearly do not have your facts !
Personal vendetta perhaps ??

Anonymous said...

2:04

Could you please clarify the following points and resubmit your post.

Who ignored what covenant?
Who defied the DOT's zoning regulations?
What were the DOT's zoning regulations?
Who has not been paying which taxes?

Thank-you.

Anonymous said...

2:04

Have you tried Kool-Aid's new Bitter Lemon flavour?

You should.

You'll probably find it quite refreshing.

Anonymous said...

@3:06 Please try to keep up or don't post at all. Those things are so well documented that it's hardly worth replying.

and @2:27 Only those places that were managed by one of the management companies would have been collecting and paying that 2% tax. Individual owners weren't required to collect it if they ran it themselves.

Anonymous said...

3:06 SCBH were paying residential taxes while operating a commercial enterprise.
Anyone operating such an enterprise was in contravention of the zoning bylaw. Are you just being a troll or are you really that dense ?

Anonymous said...


3:06
Where is it written that they were operating a commercial enterprise?
Tell me where.

And when you're done...contact 2:04 and see if he's got any Bitter Lemon flavoured Kool-Aid for you to try.

Anonymous said...

ok - so what is your point 3:29 & 3:14 ??
what do you hope to gain with your hard nose approach ?

SC is applying for a zone like Eik Landing - the owners are not bad people - the development is perfectly suited for tourists - what is your beef going forward ?
you can't live in the past - things are changing whether you like it or not - are you really that dense ?

would you say our local 'gardens' is commercial ?
guess what - they haven't paid any taxes
are you really that dense ?

so many are 2 faced in this town
this is not what the spirit of Tofino should be

Anonymous said...

Amendment from 3:46

3:29

Where is it written that they were operating a commercial enterprise?
Tell me where.

And when you're done...contact 2:04 and see if he's got any Bitter Lemon flavoured Kool-Aid for you to try.

Anonymous said...

4:05,
How can you say that nightly rentals are not commercial?
Taken from the Oxford dictionary commercial is defined as:
"Concerned with or engaged in commerce."
"Making or intended to make a profit."
"Having profit rather than artistic or other value as a primary aim."
What is largely happening is far more than just a simple mortgage helper but instead a mortgage payer with profit attached in a RESIDENTIAL zone!!!!
The law is the law and I applaud the DOT for finding the backbone to enforce our laws.

Anonymous said...

Commercial operations belong in commercial zones. Bring back neighbors to neighborhoods! What has been happening at South Chesterman condos was never the intent of the development permit. 9:50 writes that 3 night rentals were originally permitted but I don't believe this is true (help me out Ralph). Also, the majority of VR's in this town don't collect the hotel tax. The are riding on the backs of true and compliant commercial operators that do collect the tax that funds Tofino Tourism who is bringing tourists to Tofino. A large majority of VR owners don't live here and don't really care about your community as much as their profits.

Ralph Tieleman said...

I don't have the zoning or strata documents on this computer.I did look at one of the South Chesterman's condos when they were just built and Chris made it very clear that they couldn't be used for short term rentals.It was a smaller unit and priced below 150k

Anonymous said...

8:10
Geeeeez - what is with the police state mentality here. What is wrong with profit ?? I doubt you are an entrepreneur !
I totally agree that all who rent should charge appropriate tax as I believe in a level playing field ... B&B's are just as commercial as VR's. There was a time when Tofino was strong arming B&B's - now it is VR's - flavour of the day ?
This is NOT the way of addressing appropriate accommodation options for tourists (our ONLY industry now) - as well as addressing appropriate licensing & taxation enforcement
All SC owners have been wanting to contribute to the community - it is the community that has not welcomed them ...

8:40 is completely reactionary - what gaul to assume absentee owners do not care ??
I believe that is garbage ... of course they care of where their investment is ... why would they have bought here - to use themselves & allow others the same opportunity

There is a clear divide in this community - clearly the intelligent / thoughtful / progressive / supportive vs the angry / envious / small minded / punishing

Anonymous said...

If you want to do short term rentals there are many investments available.South Chestermans is not one of them.Intelligent/thoughtful/progressive/supportive people were on Council when South Chestermans was zoned for owner occupation or long term rentals. There are many Cox Bay Beach Resort condos that are appropriately zoned available.
There is nothing progressive about your position.If you do not wish to obey the Tofino bylaws I suggest you move your illegal activities elsewhere.The clear divide is between people that actually live here and people that pimp out condos that could be somebody's home.

Anonymous said...

Well 10:53
... the reality is the properties will sit empty like all the monster houses going up on the beach - you sound like you are a vulture waiting for the kill so you can feed on the carcass
The owners & friends will continue to use these properties ...
The strata fees are so high on top of the market values / property taxes that locals cannot afford to live there
- why can't you agree that the location is ideal for STR's ?
move forward with rational thinking rather than dwelling on the past - it's been going on soooo fricken long !!
Tofino should focus on the important issues & letting developers build housing ... SC units are not adequate for full time residency ... have you ever been in one ? They were built for short term rentals ... no brainer !
- I hope they sue

The Owl said...

Part 2

I am quite taken aback by the language used in some of the communiques coming out of the municipal office lately. I find the newfound language atrocious, highly aggressive, and adversarial. Terms such as scouring the internet; scraping technology; capture; target, used quite freely nowadays to address anyone operating a vacation rental business, whether they are in contravention of any bylaw or not. I am not sure what precipitated the use of such an us versus them authoritarian tone. I see no justification for it, except that it provides some sort of empowerment (sic) for our local representatives to feed on. The use of such language is divisive and counterproductive. Designed to instill fear and to intimidate, it tears apart the community, erodes trust and pits the municipal body against the citizenry. Whatever happened to being presumed innocent before being proven guilty? It appears that the municipal government in our own sleepy hollow has unthinkingly jumped on the bandwagon of the totalitarian state mindset currently sweeping the globe, i.e an undesirable state of living characterized by the overbearing presence of the civil authorities. I question whether this is the thin end of the wedge for how things will be accomplished in the future. By way of force. Can't the district utilize a more constructive, respectful tone to address their constituents? You can definitely attract more bees with honey than with the other stuff.

Secondly on behalf of all entrepreneurs and average working people of this town, In reference to comment #3, I would like to state that it is not the DOT that creates the conditions that allows people to make a living or any municipal government body for that matter. People do that of their own volition, through their own creativity and hard work. The only thing a municipal government does is demand taxation under the threat of force. Period. The level of arrogance of that quote in that Westerly is astounding to say the least.

And finally. If the DOT is adamant about all vacation rentals classified as commercial operations, then perhaps it needs to reexamine the legitimacy of so called “non-commercial operations" here in Tofino. One that comes to mind, and correct me if I am wrong, has a single family residence, a whole-home vacation rental, a monthly rental, a guest lodge with commercial kitchen and dining facility, and above all, a restaurant. How in the hell is this not a commercial operation?

What about a certain three bedroom B&B in town that is outfitted with a commercial stove needed to serve the high volume of guests? At any given time it is quite possible that such an operation can service more guests than the so called average whole-home vacation rental. Why will B&B’s not be targeted, only vacation rentals, as put forth by our mayor? Why is it kosher for this particular owner/operator to be able to fund his own retirement but not permissible for the owners of vacation rentals to do the same? A little shit in the nest perhaps??? In both instances, a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Yes, no, maybe so?

Before a clean-up can take place, the high-powered lights need to be turned upon the duplicity that is being allowed to flourish in this town. The townspeople need to open their eyes, to congregate at the doors of such establishments and pause for thought.

Anonymous said...

oh how we can justify STR.... especially when they belong to us. I see how this all goes, we have been doing this for years, strata fees, vision and purpose all get thrown into a pot.... lots of crying on both sides, just like law and justice. The law says clearly it isn't allowed but will Justice prevail?

The Owl said...

Part 1

I am sensing that there is an all out war on vacation rentals in Tofino. What began with the implementation of scouring software to ferret out illegal vrs seems to have blossomed into targeting legitimate vacation rental operations. Several quotes from a Westerly News article, dated Feb 8, 2017, seem to suggest that there is indeed a hidden DOT agenda to muscle VR operators into paying commercial taxes or shut them down.

1. “The intention here is not to capture the person who rents from time to time. The intention is much more for those people who are really running a business. If you have a house with a cottage and you are short term rentaling the cottage 365 of the year, in some people’s view that is running a business so it should pay by the same rules as other businesses and most businesses are taking place on commercially taxed properties.”

2. “We’re addressing short term rentals in many ways, shapes and forms, and this is another tool that we would consider, or that the province could consider, to address what, I think,some people perceive to be the tax inequities between people who are operating businesses out of private homes and hotels and motels and people who are not doing that.”

3. “We’ve enabled that and we’ve done so willingly. We’ve created the conditions for people to be able to do that and to be able to subsidize their mortgages and help them with the cost of their living. But the flip side of that is, it brings more visitors to town, which we like, but those visitors come with impacts: parking,garbage and recycling,bylaw enforcement, fire protection, and all kinds of things and I’ve heard so many times at this council table about, “How do we recover some of these costs?"

4. Osborne suggested Tofino’s bed and breakfasts would not be affected and that the target would be vacation rentals on residentially owned land. “This more directed to whole-home rentals", she said. “In our case in Tofino, we have six residential zones where, if you have two dwellings, you are permitted to vacation rental one of them. Some people have chosen to do that, they have a license, but that entire use is used as, what I would maintain is a commercial enterprise.

5. If we take a residence and turn it into a commercial tourist accommodation, should we then expect them to pay the same taxes that a hotel or motel or a guest house does?"

Anonymous said...

laws change ... adjust ... refine
look at history ... what's acceptable today may be otherwise in the past or in the future
how old are you ?
time to do some reading & grow up !!!

Anonymous said...

I've done some reading and realize that most jurisdictions are much stricter on vacation rentals.Tofino should refine their laws and cut back on the number of properties that can legally operate VRs . They should prosecute to the full extent of the law any illegal VRs.

Anonymous said...

Someone commenting on here must be losing their shorts with the S Chesterman crackdown based on a lot of the comments. I agree 6:08, prosecute otherwise the problem will only get worse.

Anonymous said...

at - 10:00
Probably one of the owners or maybe the management company that had it's business licence taken away 2-3 weeks ago for advertising illegal rentals.

Anonymous said...

OOOOHHHH!! Disobeying the law again!

Anonymous said...

Just had a look at one property mgmt. company and they show 3 units at s chesterman available for rent

Anonymous said...

From what i heard all have their business licences renewed - none were taken away ??
I can't see any for rent ?


Anonymous said...

I found several for rent. By at least one management company and some other individual listings. Even plugged in some hypothetical dates for 3 day stays and it showed availability. One management company listed units with no pricing unlike their other rentals but had an inquire button you could click on. Units appear to be still being rented. Ralph, any idea what sort of fines are issued and are they daily or just a one time thing? Do they escalate for repeated offences?

Anonymous said...

12:18

Do you have other things to do besides micro-managing other people's affairs ?

Time to take a stress-tab, put your crocheted, pink pussy hat on, and go for a walk on the beach.


Anonymous said...

Astounding how your mediocre minds work ... suffering from serious control issues !
You guys feel in control controlling other people ... super scary ... get a job & contribute instead of bitching ... forcing laws that are completely inadequate down other people's throats ... Tofino has bigger issues than VR's & B&B regulation ... Build some bloody housing & shut the *** up !!
Then focus on a level playing field so tourism thrives !!
True what they say - can't fix stupid

Anonymous said...

@213
It's not micro managing. It's just wanting to know what the F@ck is going on with the "proactive enforcement". We were all charged double fees to support it, so we expect to see something happening.

I'm not sure if it's even true or not, but if a management company has lost their business licence for running illegal rentals, how can they even be accepting bookings at their legal properties? Are they still open for business?

IMHO-
Up next - Places renting both the main house and the suite as VR getting shut down = immediate long-term beds available.
After that - Stand alone houses with no suite at all.
Somewhere in between - The Shore

From what I've heard, people are already beginning to tattle on their neigbours as well.

The real question is whether or not the district has the balls to actually make everyone cancel the bookings they've already taken for summer once they shut them down.

Anonymous said...

Greed is good

Anonymous said...

hahahahahahaha - love it !!!!!

Anonymous said...

4:00

Do you really know of anyone who has lost their license? Has anyone's license actually been revoked? I do know for a fact that they are fining the shit out of everybody.

Has the municipality deemed which VRs are now illegal, or are there gray areas?

Why was The Shore zoning issue put on the back burner?

You can't tell me that the District in all these years was not complicit in allowing the VRs in question to continue operating, of which it too profited from. How about the two multiple suite, mini-mansions one on Lynn Rd and the other in the Fellowship subdivision that the district knew about for years and never did anything about?

Regarding your "real question", if the district actually does that, go to such lengths as to make people cancel bookings, and the people start cancelling their holiday plans, then you can kiss Tofino goodbye as a sought after tourist destination. Remember the effects of mayor Fraser's "Sorry folks, we're out of water, pack up and leave". That lasted years. People from afar still ask me, if we're still out of water.

The town is in a downhill slide. For all the posters on this blog who want to see vr operators prosecuted to the full extent of the law, just wait when this increasingly top heavy administration gets them in its crosshairs. Remember, "it only becomes true when it happens to you."

And for all the self-righteous people out there with their beliefs in punishment, take a walk through the gardens and observe what is hiding in plain sight. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it very well is a duck. Somehow though, what's good for the goose is not good for the gander.


Outlaw Josey Wales said...

You should run for Mayor !!

Ralph Tieleman said...

Tourism Tofino still links to rentals at South Chestermans . Go figure.....

Anonymous said...

Get to know Tofino on a whole new level. The Ecolodge at Tofino Botanical Gardens is a 10 room bed & breakfast lodge, located in a whimsical and inspirational 12 acre rainforest garden. The Ecolodge was designed for the conscientious traveller looking for quiet, clean, affordable accommodation in Tofino, with a focus on groups, retreats, family reunions and education and learning opportunities. The Ecolodge features a large common kitchen (where you are provided with breakfast every morning), dining room and lounge, and cozy fireplace. Instead of TVs and telephones in rooms, the Ecolodge has a library well stocked with books about gardening, science, the local environment and history, Charles Darwin, as well as a handful of novels and childrens books! Most rooms have shared washrooms, with two 'family suites' featuring private washrooms. Rooms have a queen bed, two single beds, or four bunk beds, as well as storage space and a work desk. Linens, towels and robes are provided. Classroom facilities are also available to Ecolodge guests and other Tofino visitors for meetings, presentations, yoga classes and more. An outdoor firepit provides the opportunity for evening story telling and marshmallow roasting. All guests are encouraged to roam the 12 acre waterfront gardens, exploring the natural and cultural histories of Clayoquot Sound and take part in our educational offerings. Owned and operated by George Patterson and Josie Osborne and staffed with a knowledgeable and friendly staff, the Ecolodge provides a warm, convivial and welcoming base for your exploration of the people and places of Tofino and Clayoquot Sound.

Nightvision said...


6:46

Eloquently written and true.

Nothing needs to change. Not even its non-profit status. Just remove the vacation rental or pay commercial taxes on it whenever they become mandatory. As for the B&B operation, just close down six of the rooms to a maximum of four as Aaron has suggested in a recent Westerly article.

As for the restaurant…turning it into a soup kitchen for Tofino's down and out might be a nice humanitarian gesture.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm... Pink pussy hat. Trying to visualize that. Where do you get those from? Some pretty immature comments here. Not hard to tell who has illegal short term rentals.

Nightvision said...

5:17

Thank-you for your kind words Outlaw Josey Wales, however, my calling in life has little to do with me becoming a bureaucrat at any level. I've seen many mayors down at the district office in my time. Although I do not agree with some of the directions Mayor Osbourne is taking, I do admire her for her courage for throwing her hat into the ring years ago and taking the helm. There are good reasons why Tofino has been named Tuff City. She rises to the top of the heap, with top marks for passion and energy. I would have to walk a mile in her shoes before ever sending criticism her way. I am sure she is doing her very best to resolve the many contentious issues we currently face.

Alternate Facts said...

The Ecolodge is a student dormitory . It provides inexpensive lodging for students studying at the Botanical Gardens.It is a great asset to the community.

Ray Hegan said...

Drain The Swamp ! Oh , sorry , Riparian Zone

Anonymous said...

4:00, I agree, SC condos are just the first step. I think somewhere down the line they'll also hit the properties at the beach with multiple units and there's lots of them, some with owners residing and some without. Also a number that were snuck in by building them without a building permit.

Anonymous said...

I agree with an earlier comment, serious control issues here. Nothing progressive here and ooooo such anger & envy for those that are on the beach !

What do you people hope to gain here ? What is your vision of Chesterman Beach ?

Please Please Please - someone come to this table with some logic & real solutions rather than all this griping & bitching from those that are likely civil servants or dead beats escaping to the end of the road

Ralph Tieleman said...

Here is some common sense :
Before proceeding with anything check with the District. Double check with the published bylaws.
If your enterprise or project doesn't conform either scrap it or rezone before you proceed.
I used to have an illegal trailer on my property.I was aware that at anytime the District could order it to be removed.I never thought that the longer I got away with it the more right I had to break the law.
I have no anger or envy for anyone at Chesterman's Beach. No disrespect , but you couldn't pay me enough to live there.I am far happier where I am.
If council decides to rezone South Chesterman's as commercial that is fine.The commercial taxes and the amenity contributions will be a small benefit to the community.There will be jobs created as the condos will have to be renovated to meet commercial building and fire codes.
If council decides to keep the current zoning it will be as intended by the council that approved it in the first place.Again,fine.
I am not a civil servant but I am a bit of a dead beat at times.
Thanks to all that are contributing to this discussion.

Anonymous said...

Once tourists have been banned from staying at South Chesterman Beach Homes and many other VRs are forced to either shut down or pay commercial taxes, how will the livelihoods of so many locals who depend on tourism be affected? If land prices drop considerably, what will happen to the financial picture of many young locals with families who own their own homes, who are already saddled with debt? If the affordability housing issue gets resolved, indeed these people will have a roof over their heads but how will they make an income to pay their bills as the local tourism industry goes into recession?

A shanty-town in the making? If you think this is a tough city right now, wait a few years for these socialist policies to take effect.

Anonymous said...

@11:30 that's funny ! Thank you for the joke

Anonymous said...

@11:30 Pacific Sands, a legitimate commercial accommodation provider is expanding . There will be no recession in the tourist industry.A healthy tourist industry and homes for people who actually live here is the balance the community seeks.

Anonymous said...

12:42

Define healthy tourist industry?

Who will occupy all those single family dwellings? How will those people who live in those single family dwellings make a living? Big corporations and resorts will have all the accommodation business. Individual entrepreneurs many of which have families will have….?

Your ideology could very well kill many small businesses altogether.

I guess you are aware that for quite some time many of the big commercial operations in Tofino have been hiring people from the third world to work for almost slave labour wages. So much for the locals and the community spirit.




Anonymous said...

Aha!! The "temporary foreign worker" topic rises again!! Perhaps, instead of attacking vacation rentals, all of you "champions of the community" should start taking a good look at this travesty that's doing far more damage to your community than someone renting out their home to tourists. Maybe if the practice was called by another name like "Temporary Foreign Residential Arrangement", the STR's would be more acceptable?

Anonymous said...

Many people are confusing council dealing with illegal operations such as Shore and South Chesterman and the many law abiding Vacation Rentals in the town.Law abiding VRs have nothing to fear. Many councilors have vacation rentals.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO 3:15 & 3:43 !!!

Time to move on to other REALLY IMPORTANT issues. Like building affordable housing! How much louder can this message be?
VR's don't pose a concern in a tourist town!
Can't everyone work together towards the common good - industry / employment / housing / quality of life?
So many SELF-SERVING interests - No wonder nothing ever gets done in this one horse town - Everybody barking up the wrong tree!
ENOUGH ALREADY !!

Anonymous said...

Affordable housing was built. It was called South Chestermans Condos. Then some greedy shits starting pimping them out.

Anonymous said...

About 28 months ago we had a municipal election. At that time, as I recall, there were four major challenges facing Tofino: Water, Sewer, Parking, Housing. Now it's over two years later. We still don't have enough water, and I know of no progress toward getting more. We still pump our sewage directly into the ocean, and I understand that Stage 3 LWMP is still not complete? (Please correct me if I'm wrong here). We still have a housing crisis, so we've attacked the tourism industry to give the false impression of doing something about it. And we've turned a bunch of the available parking spaces into flower gardens. Great job by our mayor,staff and council! Nothing is getting done!! Why not? Are you afraid to do your jobs because you might perhaps hurt someone's feelings and lose you "most popular" status? Or are you simply not able to tackle the tough stuff, make a few difficult choices and decisions? If this is the case, please don't place your names on the ballot two years from now, we're better off without you.

Anonymous said...

Please read what Ralph wrote at 11:17am
The bottom line is the same VR bylaws have been in place for 10 years plus and the convents existed on any property that is non conforming when every purchaser purchased them.

The people who run VR's that do not comply with the bylaws are illegal today and were illegal 10 years ago, by their choice.
The bylaws have been transparent but never enforced.
Yes that is the district's fault, but the bottom line is the bylaw has always been in place and some choose to ignore any bylaws.

So anyone not conforming is and always was illegal. Above the law one would say.

Many people have built over the years and homes have been purchased for VR's and they read the bylaws and built to suit.
No issue!

Up until now the district has depended on neighbour calling in neighbour for VR bylaw issues.
As we no this is unfare, and we all want to be good neighbours.

Any VR business in this community would be aware of the bylaws and it is up to them to decide if they want to represent a non -comforming property.

Around 10 years ago a caretaker suite was added to the bylaw for all VR's that had to be attached by a breezeway. This was a way to create a site manager (to have some one responsible on site) for any VR or at the very least it created long term rental housing.
In my guess I would say less than 50% of the VR's conformed. Hats off to the ones that did as they created housing and followed the bylaws.

In order for a even playing field to ever exist (which it currently does not), the district has been forced to act.
If everyone had the followed the bylaws from day one we would not be in this issue today.


Ralph Tieleman said...

Council is not attacking tourism, just illegal operations. There are many legal vacation rental units currently under construction with Council's blessing.
Parking is a disaster with offshore residents having priority over Tofino residents or tourists.
Stage 3 lwmp not approved yet but some work has been done.
A new water tank is going in at Barr's Mountain.
It will only be a small improvement.
Do we really have a housing crisis ? A 900 sq ft condo sold a few days ago for 300k . Others are available. A nice house on Main Street just sold for 445k.
Things could be a lot better but they could be a lot worse. Remember Smitty ?

Anonymous said...

Remember Watermetergate ? Free water for resorts ?

Anonymous said...

3:15 writes:
"Who will occupy all those single family dwellings?"
-answer: Single families, some with secondary suites for monthly rental or with a conforming secondary suite for nightly rental or a B&B with no more than 3 rooms provided all meet zoning requirements and business licence requirements.

"How will those people who live in those single family dwellings make a living?"
-answer: By renting out one of the 3 options above or going out in the real world and getting a real job working for a real commercial entity. Many generations have done it successfully in the past.

"Big corporations and resorts will have all the accommodation business. Individual entrepreneurs many of which have families will have….?"
-answer: see above, or start a business that conforms to the zoning and business licence requirements and be legitimately self employed.



"I guess you are aware that for quite some time many of the big commercial operations in Tofino have been hiring people from the third world to work for almost slave labour wages. So much for the locals and the community spirit."
-comment: I'm quite certain that the larger commercial operations would gladly hire locals to do the jobs they have if locals were available. Also, I'm sure that the money offered would be as good and probably even better than what similar positions would pay in other communities. I hear some of the larger resorts even offer benefit packages.

Ralph Tieleman said...

The TFW program has been scaled way back.Minimum wage still applies to any TFWs that are here. Many former TFWs have become Canadian citizens.

Anonymous said...

Don't need no TFWs no more......got Syrian refugees nowadays! Progress, Trudeau style.

Anonymous said...

Foreign worker wages are set by the Federal government and they are well the above minimum wage to start. Comments about slave labour is just nonsense. They are wonderful workers, have a great work ethic. All foreign workers wish to become Canadian citizens and make Canada their home. They are all lovely people and a great asset to our community. Hotels and resort invest about $5000 to bring each foreign worker into Canada. They do this only because most Canadians do not want to be housekeepers. It should be pointed out also that there are no big corporations involved in the tourist accommodation in Tofino. With the exception of the Tin Wis, all the resorts and hotels are held privately, most by families who have invested multimillions in the community. Without tourism, Tofino would be another Port Hardy, no jobs and everyone having to leave.



Anonymous said...

I have no problem hiring local Canadians, who have lived in Tofino for years, to do housekeeping. You have to pay a fair wage and $13 an hour is not a fair wage. Some of the locals I have hired have even started their own cleaning companies. Tofino is an entrepreneur's dream and given a chance young canadians will succeed. The best part is that the money stays here! How much of TFW wage stays in Tofino? I bet not much! Locals need work in the off season. Hire them!

Anonymous said...

Love to see revenue Canada have a look at this situation? Owners of short term rentals vs declared income. Terms like progressive and entrepreneurs on this blog are comedy. Real business people understand risk assessment and uncontrollable variables like government. Life lessons can be expensive. Profit is not evil. But fairness seems to be a dying concept these days.