Village of Burns Lake. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Community voices concerns over home-based businesses

The council meeting sees majority of members opposing zoning bylaw amendment

The village of Burns Lake held a committee of the whole meeting on Mar. 31 where several community members spoke up over the matter of home-based businesses.

Last year, between Nov. 23 and Jan. 11, the village conducted a survey to determine whether an amendment to the existing zoning bylaws for home-based businesses is needed. 68 people participated in the survey, of which 90 per cent respondents said that they would support amending the current zoning bylaw to include personal services under home-based businesses.

However, several other community members, especially business owners in the village’s downtown are opposed to any amendments to the bylaw. To give these members a platform to voice their opinions, the village held a meeting last week over Zoom, that saw 17 participants.

While there were a couple of voices among the participants who supported the zoning amendment, the rest were against the amendment or had questions for the council over it.

Several concerns were raised from how encouraging more people to conduct home-based businesses could isolate the downtown core to what kind of taxation and parking would these businesses have.

Katherine McPhail gave a verbal presentation that included her thorough research over the topic of home-based businesses from insurance implications to understanding BC Building code as well as asking difficult questions of the village such as “Is Burns Lake not able to offer businesses a location in any one of the current commercial zones?”

Several others such as Jen Varga, Lori White, Michael Riis-Christianson, Linda Uchacz and Wyatt Holliday, expressed their concerns through letters submitted to the council in advance.

“As a previous home-based business, I have some mixed emotions on this topic. In general, I believe that a home-based business should be used as a stepping stone, a way to test the market and save money until the business is viable,” read the letter written by Bryanne White, owner of Wild Roots Flowers & Gifts.

Kelly Holiday, who is a former councillor and owner of the boutique Aksenz expressed her displeasure over this amendment and said she was shocked that it even made it to the table for consideration. She listed several points in her letter over business signages on residential properties, lack of a by-law officer, current economic climate and urged the village to continue focusing on developing the downtown.

Based on the survey, the committee of the whole meeting and the input from various stakeholders, the village will now take several possibilities and outcomes under consideration if the zoning bylaw is amended. One of the major implications, something that was also brought up by several participants of the meeting is that if the amendment takes place, businesses located in the commercial zone at the moment, could chose to move their business to their home residence resulting in the village losing tax revenue.

Another possibility however would be for the home-based business to grow resulting in it moving to the commercial district and increasing the village’s tax revenue.

The village staff is now expected to compile all the information from the supporters of the bylaw as well from those against it, and report back to Council for further discussion.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Tree; Burns Lake library. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Dragon Tree christened

The Burns Lake Public Library contest for dragon and tree names has… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Most Read