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Ucluelet to host public hearing on nixing vacation rental restrictions

Restrictions voted into place by the town’s previous council in 2022 with current mayor Marilyn McEwen voting against them
Ucluelet’s municipal council is repealing short term rental restrictions put in place in 2022.

Do you know the muffin clause?

The adorable colloquialism refers to one of the short term rental regulations Ucluelet’s municipal council plans to axe from its bylaws.

Council had telegraphed its intent to nix the restrictions on April 16 and, as promised, Ucluelet’s Director of Community Planning  Bruce Greig presented options to get rid of them during May 14’s regular meeting.

The restrictions on the chopping block include the aforementioned muffin clause, which mandates all bed and breakfasts offer at least a continental breakfast to guests, as well as all bed and breakfast rooms being accessed through a residence’s primary entrance with coded entries or key lockboxes prohibited.

“The overarching intent of adopting these regulations in 2022 was to slow down the proliferation of ‘guest suites’ attached to single-family homes in residential areas (either as part of new construction or through the conversion of secondary suites),” read a report presented to council by Greig on May 14. “There is an unresolved question of the total sustainable amount of tourist accommodation growth in Ucluelet, and its impact on the balance of secure housing opportunities accessible to locals. In alignment with the strategic priorities of Council, that broader question will be the focus of further work and community discussion this year.”

Those restrictions had been voted into place by the town’s previous council in 2022 with current mayor Marilyn McEwen voting against them at the time and pushing for them to be removed at the April 16 meeting.

At the April 16 meeting, councillors Mark Maftei and Jennifer Hoar had suggested they would vote against repealing the restrictions, but neither voiced objection on May 14 and council unanimously approved moving forward with removing them and a public hearing has been scheduled for June 11 to allow the public to weigh in on the idea. 

During the same presentation, Greig presented a plan to add a new single family residential zone that would not allow bed and breakfasts as an accessory use.

“I think we’re going to be revisiting our zoning in the near future here around all residential uses,” Greig said.

Council approved first reading of the new zone with no discussion.

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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