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Mountain View County considering overnight accommodation option

There are approximately 11 riding arenas, 11 agri-tourism businesses, and four direct control district with approved development permits in Mountain View County
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MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council is considering possible options for existing businesses with existing development permits to accommodate overnight self-contained accommodations and flexibility for more events to assist with economic recovery.

Council members and administration discussed possible options during the recent regularly schedule council meeting.

There are approximately 11 riding arenas, 11 agri-tourism businesses, and four direct control district with approved development permits in the municipality.

Options being considered are a moratorium on enforcing development permit restrictions, land use bylaw amendment to allow for development permit application, and status quo, chief administrative officer Jeff Holmes said a briefing note to council.

The moratorium on enforcing development permit restrictions option would see events and overnight accommodation allowed to occur outside development permit conditions, with no enforcement of conditions on such things as number of events, clinics, hours of operation and days of operation.

Under the option complaints received during the moratorium period would not be investigated, and it is recommended that pre-registration for the enforcement moratorium be required and that only existing approved businesses be eligible to participate.

No new permanent infrastructure would be allowed under the moratorium option.

“After conclusion of the moratorium period, it is expected that any businesses wishing to continue to operate outside of their existing development permit would be required to apply for the necessary permit amendments,” Holmes said.

The second option would amend the land use bylaw to add overnight accommodation/stay as part of the specific use regulations for riding arena, public, and add overnight accommodation/stay in existing direct control districts for event centres.

Under the third (status quo) option, businesses can apply for permits to expand their business operations, but all application would be subject to traditional approval processes that take offsite impacts to the surrounding landowners into consideration.

Existing development permits have been issued by approving authorities after weighing the merits of the application with the potential side effects for adjacent properties.

Administration will return with further information on the proposed options to an upcoming council meeting. No decision on adopting any of the proposed options has been made.

“We need to wait until after the next council meeting and we need to come up with what we are actually looking at doing before we put any kind of public statement out,” said councillor Alan Miller. “This is still an investigation as to how we go forward.”