Letter: A dog boarding compromise

Tuesday, February 23 2016

We would like to suggest a possible compromise between those residents who feel in-home dog boarding businesses on small rural residential lots would be excessively disturbing to neighbours and those who feel it is a convenient service and source of income.

The current Gabriola Island bylaw strikes a fair balance between home-based businesses and adjacent homeowners. The bylaw ensures the right of such businesses to operate, while still protecting residents on small rural residential lots from potential noise disturbance. This protection is clear: no home occupation may create or permit noise that disturbs persons, or is clearly audible, off the lot on which the home occupation is conducted. 

The implication of this bylaw is plain: home-based occupations that cannot fit within this noise provision are not appropriate land uses in residential neighbourhoods. If a noise exception is made for in-home dog boarding, what other exceptions might follow?

However, a reasonable solution is possible if two provisions are required for all SRR dog boarding temporary use permits (TUPs). First, those applying for a TUP should be required to obtain unanimous written permission from all neighbours surrounding their home/property, and second, the TUP should also be up for review after 12 months.

We think this suggestion has much to recommend it and represents a fair compromise. It would allow non-problematic SRR dog boarding businesses to operate - and potentially any future businesses that may be outside regular noise limits - but also effectively control those that would cause neighbours disturbance and the loss of their right to peacefully enjoy their land.

We hope folks will join us in making their views on this known to the Gabriola Trustees.

~ Nancy Morgan and Ken Morrison