Dog sitting issue is a demo of good policy evolution

Editorial

Tuesday, December 8 2015

The dog sitting issue is not just about dog sitting. It is also another test for our local government’s models to bring in new forms of home-based businesses.

The Trustees have made the right choice in putting this to a temporary-use-permit method.  Doing so allows the public to be involved as the bylaw amendments are crafted. It also allows the neighbours of every potential dog sitting operation to be involved prior to that operation being given a permit.

The permit is only good for three years. Typically only getting one renewal for another three years.

After those six years, one would hope the neighbours and the business owner have worked out any glaring issues and a a more permanent approval of the home-based business can be put in place by the LTC.

If those issues have not been worked out, the LTC has the power to not renew the permit.

Compared to some past issues involving temporary use permits (bulk water delivery; short-term rentals), the dog sitting issue is a solid demonstration of the LTC’s ability to allow someone to try running a type of business which was previously not allowed. And to do so with feedback from the neighbours before and after the business opens up.

There will be those who say this is getting a bit costly for taxpayers, and we are using up our valuable planner time on an issue which impacts only dog owners on the island.

But it is a service which is needed on the island - one which those owning over five acres of land - as currently required by the regulations for a kennel - are not providing.

It is also an issue which can be used to demonstrate to the LTC members and taxpayers how well (or not) the TUP process can work on everyone’s behalf.