(Pixabay)

Can’t do home cannabiz in Victoria

Proposed bylaw increases home business from one to three

The City of Victoria is looking at increasing the number of home-based businesses allowed, unless they are related to cannabis.

City staff presented a zoning bylaw amendment Thursday morning at committee of the whole, recommending two updates to the current zoning regulation bylaws that would expand the number of “home occupations” from one to three. The bylaw would also add explicit wording prohibiting home-based cannabis businesses.

While dispensaries are not allowed in residential neighbourhoods, current bylaws don’t restrict other cannabis-related businesses that could operate from a home, like a mail-order service.

“Nuisance and security concerns could arise if an online cannabis dispensary with cannabis stored onsite is operating in a residential neighbourhood,” the city’s business ambassador Quinn Anglin said in a presentation to council.

Council also discussed using secondary buildings on properties — like carriage houses or a detached garage — as a site for business. Coun. Ben Isitt asked why this is not currently allowed.

“The intent is not to create commercial districts within residential neighbourhoods in a significant way,” responded Jonathan Tinney, City director of sustainable planning and community development. “If we start to create situations where we have standalone structures on properties that are only for businesses, then they cease to become accessory uses.”

Coun. Geoff Young suggested home-based businesses were on the rise because of the difference in commercial, industrial and home property tax rates, which create an economic incentive to do business at home. Allowing more of them could create more problems, including using the secondary structures as “mini hotels” for short term rentals.

“It’s a double issue. There’s the removal of carriage houses and basement suites out of residential into commercial and industrial uses, and also, we start to get the impacts on the neighbourhood,” he said. “[A carpenter] who wants to make the kitchen cabinets in his garage instead of an industrial property in Rock Bay, also wants to make them in the evening, so you’ve also got the sound issues.”

RELATED: Victoria moves to regulate short term rentals

Coun. Jeremy Loveday said Young made a good argument about property taxes, but he thinks the rise could be due to other reasons.

“As economy shifts, and there are less and less secure and stable jobs, more and more people have side-hustles,” he said. “If we want people to actually get business licences and have their side hustle be realized by the city as a business, most of those will be home occupations.”

If the number of businesses is expanded to three, only one would be allowed to have customers visit the property. The city will vote on the bylaw amendment at a later council meeting.

Information on home businesses is the most frequently requested type of information from the city’s business hub.

Other municipalities like Langford, Sidney and Central Saanich do not regulate the number of home-based businesses. Saanich permits two in multiple dwelling units, townhomes and condos, but does not regulate those in a single family dwelling. View Royal and Vancouver allow three, and Oak Bay allows two.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Death-penalty decision delayed for alleged cold-case killer

William Talbott is charged here in the 1987 slaying of a young Victoria-area couple

Emergency crews responding to incident in Goldstream Provincial Park

Delays in both directions on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langford

Scam arrives on Saanich senior’s doorstep

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Pandora supervised consumption site has busy first month

Site whose aim is to save lives takes on a new client-driven name: The Harbour

Victoria’s plastic bag ban inspires local entrepreneur to give back

Karebags a local, collaborative alternative for reusable bags, donates profits to charity

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

BC Games: Opening Ceremony from Laketown Ranch

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

FRESH IDEA: Victoria tech firm beneficiary of streamlined government system

Software developer FreshWorks awarded $1.5-million contract using new bid program

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Most Read