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Council will support medical professionals committee

The maximum allowable amount recommended by the staff was $5,000
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The Bold N’ Cold Liquor storage on 640 Highway 16 property owner has applied for a temporary short-term/long-term rental accommodation permit (TUP) and commercial storage use for three years. (Village of Burns Lake Illustration/Lakes District News)

The Village of Burns Lake discussed supporting the 2024 Burns Lake Community Foundation Society Grant application on April 18.

The Northern Interior Rural Division of Family Practice and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako are also part of it and have committed to funding and supporting the activities of the Recruitment and Retention of Medical Professionals Committee.

Through this process, they will hire a recruiter or community champion, and the grant will assist in offsetting expenses.

The maximum allowable amount recommended by the staff was $5,000.

This application may also facilitate a community foundation board discussion regarding the purpose of the committee and the impact of the successful recruitment and retention of medical professionals to the Lakes District.

After the discussion, Mayor Henry Wiebe asked the council to support this grant application, and everyone agreed.

TUP 2024-01 Bold N Cold

The Bold N’ Cold Liquor storage on 640 Highway 16 property owner has applied for a temporary short-term/long-term rental accommodation permit (TUP) and commercial storage use for three years.

Charlie Rensby, Village of Burns Lake councillor, had concerns about approving the TUP. He said, “I agreed last time because everyone in the community had an opportunity to make money off the pipeline project. Otherwise, I would have been 100 per cent against it.”

Kristy Bjarnason, Village of Burns Lake councillor, asked whether the subject property was inspected.

Amy Wainwright, Village of Burns Lake planning consultant, said the building inspectors have already approved it.

Rob Krause, Village of Burns Lake director of protective services, addressed the fact that municipalities have limited options to inspect building codes if tenants already reside there. “I can go into the commercial portion under the B.C. Fire Code, but I cannot enter a private residence. It’s the same issue with our supportive housing buildings, which are also considered private residences and fall under the Rental Tenancy Act,” he said.

The existing building contains a two-bedroom residential suite for rental accommodation and an area for commercial storage. Before the end of this term, the applicant may request that the council consider extending the permit terms.

A one-year TUP was approved in February 2023 for residential use for this property. However, the TUP was not issued because the required work to bring the building into compliance with the building code was not completed prior to the permit’s expiry. The necessary work has now been completed, and the property owner would like to use the residential portion of the building for short-term rentals, such as Airbnb or long-term rental accommodation.

During the past year, the building was used for a long-term residential rental without meeting the building code or complying with the conditions of the previously approved TUP. Numerous complaints were received regarding the property during that time. Since those tenants were evicted, the property has remained vacant.

At the end of the discussion, Mayor Wiebe said that more discussion was required in future meetings, and the council agreed.