Trust’s Housekeeping bylaw public hearing this Thursday

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, March 31 2015

Food trucks are not allowed on Gabriola.

Non-mobile food trailers are, so long as they meet all Regional District of Nanaimo and Health Authority requirements.

At least as far as the Islands Trust bylaw requirements go.

This coming Thursday, the Gabriola Local Trust Committee will be hosting a public hearing for a housekeeping bylaw which is intended to correct errors, clarify regulations or update information in the existing Gabriola Land Use Bylaw and Official Community Plan.

For example, within the Land Use Bylaw, the current definition of clubhouse refers to yacht clubs - current advice from staff and Trustees is to remove “yacht club outstation’ from the definition to include other facilities whose clubhouses are referred to in the LUB.

There are a myriad of minor changes such as this being covered by the bylaw - the amendment concerning restaurants and the potential for other forms of food services is just one of them.

As Regional Planning Manager Courtney Simpson explained, it was identified that there was a need for a definition of restaurant in the LUB.

“The Housekeeping Bylaw adds a definition of “restaurant” as follows: “Means an eating establishment providing for the sale of prepared foods and beverages to be consumed on or off the premises , and may include café, delicatessen, and take-out restaurant, but specifically excludes neighbourhood pub, drive-in and drive-through establishment”.”

Simpson said the definition will allow take-out restaurants, but not mobile food trailers.

“The use of mobile food trailers is limited by other regulations in the Land Use Bylaw that indicate the restaurant use must be conducted from a building or structure. Vehicles are specifically not considered structures.”

That being said, a non-mobile trailer - such as the GABE Shop Ice Cream Trailer - is permitted for take-out and food sales, so long as it was in the commercial zone and all other aspects of the LUB, the RDN, and Health Authority requirements were being met

Simpson said the change to the Land Use Bylaw by adding the definition of restaurant is to resolve some of the concerns that the LTC has been hearing regarding take-out restaurants. 

The remaining question about mobile food trailers would take some further thought should the LTC prioritize consideration of that topic. 

“For example, the LTC and community should consider whether there should be some regulations around mobile food trailers like their location on a lot (do they need to comply with setbacks for example), and what zones they should be permitted in.”

A link to the entire housekeeping bylaw will be included with the online version of this story on

The public hearing for the housekeeping bylaw is slated to begin at 11am this Thursday, April 2 at the WI Hall. No written or oral representations will be received by the Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee, or its members, after the conclusion of the public hearing.