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Delta backtracks on secondary suite regulation changes – Delta

The Corporation of Delta has retreated from its sweeping changes to the secondary suite program following a storm of complaints.

On Monday, Delta council voted unanimously in favour of staff recommendations to cancel a number of amendments approved last year and go back, for the most part, to the previous regulations.

Finance director Karl Preuss explained the revisions mean the municipality will once again accept declarations from property owners for suites that do not generate a rental income.

Delta will also continue to offer the annual $300 reduction in utility fees for secondary suites with an occupancy permit and will eliminate a $300 annual secondary suite fee that had been imposed. The suite fee will be replaced with an annual $50 business licence fee in 2018 that will only affect property owners whose secondary suites are in compliance with Delta’s regulations and generate rental income.

However, a change to the water service bylaw, which now requires all houses with a suite, regardless of whether it’s being rented, to be metered for water consumption will remain in place.

According to the municipality, it had cancelled the $300 reduction in utility fees, which had been an incentive for legalized suites, required meters and imposed an annual fee to further improve occupant safety and ensure all homes with secondary units are paying an equitable amount.

Delta had also stopped accepting signed statutory declarations, a statement by a homeowner that a suite is not being rented and all residents in a house have reasonable access to all rooms within the dwelling.
Coun. Heather King said the approach Delta is taking is fair and palatable.

“Yes, there may be occasional abuse but I don’t think we should have a policy that is for the one or two abusers. It needs to be for the people who do have family members staying with them and have legitimate needs,” she said.

Coun Jeannie Kanakos agreed, acknowledging many complaints had been received by municipal hall.

“I think what we’ve come up with is an approach that is balanced. We want always to be looking to have secondary suites that are safe, where there is a reasonable policy and where the seniors can have their kids come home and occupy a secondary suite or have a summer cooking kitchen in the basement. That’s reasonable,” she said.

As far as new home construction, a new policy introduced last year making it tougher to include a legal suite won’t change. A new suite will only be permitted for lots that are 15 metres in width or greater, and there’s also a number of other new provisions, including location of parking stalls.

The move was in response to complaints about homeowners with secondary suites who make their tenants park on the street.
 

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Judge asks court to nix discipline hearing over family cottage concerns

OTTAWA — A judge is asking the Federal Court of Canada to halt disciplinary proceedings related to his involvement in an indigenous land-claim settlement where his family owns a cottage.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould wants the court to prohibit the Canadian Judicial Council from taking further steps concerning complaints about his participation in the land dispute.

Newbould says a judicial council review panel lacked the authority to order an inquiry after the matter was closed two years earlier.

His job could hang in the balance, though it might prove moot, since he plans to retire June 1.

It all began in late August 2014 when the judicial council received complaints about Newbould’s involvement in a public consultation on the proposed settlement of a Saugeen First Nation land claim with respect to the resort town of Sauble Beach, Ont.

Newbould’s family has owned a cottage property there for nearly a century.

In a submission to the Federal Court, Newbould says he wrote in a “personal capacity” to the mayor and town councillors regarding the settlement and the merits of the land claim.

The judicial council notified Newbould in September 2014 of five complaints and invited him to provide written submissions to a conduct committee.

Newbould says he took full responsibility and apologized for his actions in light of the perception he was acting in his capacity as a judge rather than as a private citizen.

The chairman of the conduct committee opted to close the file, which he was entitled to do given that Newbould acknowledged his error and no further measures were considered necessary.

Two additional complaints came in the ensuing months, and in each case the file was once again closed.

One of the complainants, Koren Lightning-Earle, president of the Indigenous Bar Association, asked for a reconsideration of the concerns in June 2015.

The matter was handed to another member of the conduct committee, who referred it to a review panel. In turn, the panel ordered an inquiry committee to investigate.

The panel members agreed that, if proven, the allegations “surrounding the intervention of Justice Newbould in the context of a court case, could be so serious that they may warrant the judge’s removal from office,” the judicial council said last week in a news release.

“It’s important to note that all allegations regarding the judge have not been proven,” the release said. “The inquiry committee will have the responsibility of establishing the facts about this case and of presenting a report to the council.”

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

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Sandra Bullock’s vacation home can be yours for $2000 per night …

Sandra Bullock bought the plantation-style home in 2001. It's on the Georgia coast, and available for vacation rentals.

Sandra Bullock bought the plantation-style home in 2001. It’s on the Georgia coast, and available for vacation rentals.

If you’re a fan of Gone With The Wind or perhaps the Netflix series Bloodline, we’ve got the vacation house for you.

It’s on Tybee Island, just outside Savannah, Georgia. With shaded and screened porches, slow-spinning ceiling fans and a mostly-white shabby-chic decor, it’s the perfect spot to spend long, hot summer evenings sipping a mint julep.

It’s Sandra Bullock’s vacation house, and if you can afford $2,000 per night, with a four-night minimum stay, you can enjoy the white sand beaches surrounding this 315 square-metre plantation-style residence that’s got Southern charm to spare.

READ MORE:
* Meg Ryan’s fabulous loft apartment
* Sandra Bullock’s Sunset Strip can be rented for $20,500 a month
*
David Bowie’s former Balinese island home up for rent

There are plenty of shaded outdoor porches, ideal for enjoying the sultry Georgia weather. This is the true Southern ...

There are plenty of shaded outdoor porches, ideal for enjoying the sultry Georgia weather. This is the true Southern vacation experience – lots of time sitting on a chaise longue… maybe with a mint julep in hand?

Honey-toned hardwood floors run throughout the main-floor living and entertaining spaces, which include a double-height ...

Honey-toned hardwood floors run throughout the main-floor living and entertaining spaces, which include a double-height living room with a decorative fireplace and an exposed-wood ceiling.

The interior is mostly white - ideally suited to the home's location off the coast of Georgia.Timber, sisal and wicker ...

The interior is mostly white – ideally suited to the home’s location off the coast of Georgia.Timber, sisal and wicker accents complement the neutral tones, and give the place a fresh, crisp look.

The main living spaces and master suite are on the ground level, while the upper level has the guest bedrooms.

The main living spaces and master suite are on the ground level, while the upper level has the guest bedrooms.

The master suite, like the other rooms, is equipped with ceiling fans - a must in a location known for hot, humid summers.

The master suite, like the other rooms, is equipped with ceiling fans – a must in a location known for hot, humid summers.

There are three extra bedrooms on the upper floor.

There are three extra bedrooms on the upper floor.

The three guest bedrooms share a bathroom.

The three guest bedrooms share a bathroom.

The guest bedrooms also share this smaller den, on the upper level.

The guest bedrooms also share this smaller den, on the upper level.

The den opens out to this screened porch, with views to the ocean.

The den opens out to this screened porch, with views to the ocean.

There's a fully-equipped gym in the basement.

There’s a fully-equipped gym in the basement.

If a tropical storm rolls in, there are plenty of other activities indoors.

If a tropical storm rolls in, there are plenty of other activities indoors.

If surf and sand aren't to your liking, this pool probably is.

If surf and sand aren’t to your liking, this pool probably is.

This is one of the few oceanfront properties on the island with an extensively landscape outdoor area and pool.

This is one of the few oceanfront properties on the island with an extensively landscape outdoor area and pool.

Screened porches anchor each end of a long veranda that overlooks the water.

Screened porches anchor each end of a long veranda that overlooks the water.

Beyond the pool, an elevated boardwalk crosses a scrubby stretch of dunes to provide private access to a pristine beach.

Beyond the pool, an elevated boardwalk crosses a scrubby stretch of dunes to provide private access to a pristine beach.


 – Stuff

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Port Coquitlam property owners can soon add coach homes – The Tri

Looking for a place to house an elderly parent or teen? 

What about bringing in a renter to help pay off that massive mortgage? 

Soon, some Port Coquitlam house owners will be able to build a coach home on their property.

Tuesday, city council received a report about regulations that, if enacted, would allow “granny flats” to go up on large residential lots.

Under the proposed rules, which still need to be passed by council and go through a public hearing, homeowners can build a coach home up to 753 sq. ft. — the same size as is permitted in Vancouver.

The proposed changes come after a public consultation last summer and aim to add more affordable housing to PoCo’s stock and to boost the city’s population — a requirement under Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy.

Under the regulations, applicants would notify their neighbours as well as post a sign on their lot about the proposed home.

Coun. Mike Forrest, chair of the city’s smart growth committee, which would review each application, urged area residents to air their views early in the planning process.

“Please come and have a discussion,” he said. “I would prefer it to be done at committee rather than at council.”

Parking is expected to be a hot topic, some councillors suggested at Tuesday’s meeting.

While an on-site space is required for coach homes (and, under the bylaws, for any new secondary suites), tenants may not always park on the property.

The spill-out onto streets could eventually force the municipality to issue parking permits for coach home occupants, Coun. Darrell Penner said.

Mayor Greg Moore also said council may look at taxing coach home residents in the future (coach home and secondary suite renters are required to pay utility fees) as taxpayers would have to subsidize the municipal services that they use.

But Coun. Dean Washington pointed out those extra services — i.e., policing, road maintenance, etc. — would be paid by the landowner, who will have a higher property tax bill as a result of a larger tax assessment.

Coun. Glenn Pollock said the proposed coach homes regulations “don’t go far enough” and wants to see more flexibility. He said infilling properties with coach homes is a better way to densify than allowing highrises.

As well, Coun. Brad West said the city needs to keep an eye on coach homes being used as Airbnb rental units, a temporary accommodation use that’s not regulated in PoCo as it is in other communities such as Vancouver.

Coach homes have been allowed in Coquitlam since 2012. In Port Moody coach homes are not currently permitted “but they are being explored as part of our zoning bylaw review,” city spokesperson Rosemary Lodge said.

jcleugh@tricitynews.com

••••

 

Maximum sizes for coach houses in other cities:

• Delta: 42 sq. m.

• Coquitlam: 50 sq. m.

• Richmond: 60 sq. m.

• Vancouver: 70 sq. m.

• Maple Ridge: Up to 90 sq. m.

• City of North Vancouver: 74.3 or 92.9 sq. m. (depending on type)

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Cottage Life names Almonte one of eight top secret beautiful hamlets in Ontario

The accolades just keep coming for Almonte.

The town recently earned a spot on Cottage Life’s Eight Top Secret Beautiful Hamlets in Ontario, along with Lanark County neighbour, Smiths Falls.

The article focuses on smaller communities that are hidden gems, filled with heritage and attractions. Describing Almonte as a “lovely mill town” located on the banks of the Mississippi River, it highlights Mill Street downtown, with unique shops in heritage buildings.

“For natural grandeur, the river drops 20 metres as it flows through the community, resulting in dramatic waterfalls and rapids,” the article states, noting the popularity of festivals such as Almonte Celtfest, Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival and the North Lanark Highland Games.

Cottage Life began as a magazine in 1988, but has grown into a larger brand, which includes a large web presence and television channel.


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Neighbours worried about secondary suite proposal

Secondary suites are fast becoming an issue in Courtenay.

Neighbours of the proposed suites are worried that the properties might be sold in future to absentee landlords who might not check on their tenants’ activities.

Plus, according to residents who turned out for a public hearing Monday night on a proposed rezoning for an Evergreen Avenue secondary suite, they had deliberately purchased their homes to be in a single family zoned area.

They didn’t want the extra traffic and noise associated with more residents in the area.

In the fall of 2016 Suzie Leroux and Mark Reiss applied to rezone their property at 1066 Evergreen to permit a small secondary suite in the basement of their single family dwelling.

The city’s Official Community Plan (OCP) supports secondary suites as a form of infill development as long as the development is in keeping with the character and scale of the neighbourhood.

A review of historical rezoning applications for secondary suites indicates that seven properties located within 2 km of the subject property (Brooks Place, Thorpe Avenue, Teal Place, Valley View Drive, Snowbird Lane, Mallard Drive and Nikoliasen Road) have been rezoned, according to the report presented by Ian Buck, director of development services.

The couple making the application held a public information session, as required, in December. Only one couple showed up.

“They said they were against the secondary suite, because years ago, their neighbour made a legal suite, and it became occupied by some, I quote, “ladies of the night” (hookers),” wrote Leroux to the city.

But more than one couple showed up at the public hearing to object to the rezoning.

One resident of 9th St. East, at the intersection with Evergreen, said he’d lived there for 29 years.

“We bought there for the single family homes and I think it should stay that way,” he said, adding that there were already a number of illegal suites in the neighbourhood.

Another resident, of Mantle Drive, said secondary suites were fine as long as the primary owners were living there.

It’s when the owner moves out that problems can arise, he said.

Another Mantle Drive resident said she moved to the area because it was quiet.

Secondary suites cause increased water use, traffic and noise.

“The more people … the worse it gets,” she said.

An Evergreen Avenue resident said the proposed suite’s proximity to the new hospital and North Island College just adds to the “lots of tenants” already on the street.

It “changes the entire dynamic of the neighbourhood”, she said.

Another speaker, who doesn’t live in the neighbourhood, asked council why there were still no regulations for AirBnB rentals. There are dozens of city homes renting out rooms through this online service.

The applicants said their suite would only have one bedroom, with a total size of 760 sq. metres, with its own driveway on the property.

“There are a lot of illegal suites on our street,” Leroux told council.

Council will make a decision on the rezoning at their next regular meeting, set for Feb. 20.

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Ontario judge faces possible removal for speaking against land …

The property across the road from the beach has been in Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould’s family for nearly 100 years. Newbould himself has “been cottaging at Sauble Beach since 1943 when first born,” he wrote in 2014.

At the time, the town of South Bruce Peninsula, which encompasses Lake Huron’s Sauble Beach, was debating whether to accept a land claim settlement that would have extended the territory of the Saugeen First Nation to within about 400 metres of Newbould’s cottage.

In two detailed letters and a presentation at a public meeting, the respected judge spelled out why the town should fight the land claim. The First Nation’s case for expanding its reserve, which was supported by the federal government, was based on a flawed interpretation of historical land surveys, Newbould said.

Saying he was “speaking as a cottage owner,” he warned that agreeing to the claim could change the character of the beach. The native band would likely seek revenue by allowing cars on the beach, charging user fees and selling cigarettes, as it did on a portion of the 11-kilometre beach already under the band’s control.

Now, as he nears retirement, Newbould’s intervention to protect the beach of his childhood summers risks tarnishing a reputation that saw him named one of the 25 most influential members of the legal profession last year by Canadian Lawyer magazine.

On Monday, the Canadian Judicial Council announced that it will conduct a public inquiry into Newbould’s conduct in relation to the land claim. A CJC review panel concluded that, if proven, the allegations that Newbould intervened in the context of a court case “could be so serious that they may warrant the judge’s removal from office,” the council said in a statement.

The detailed allegations have not yet been made public, but they stem from a complaint by the Indigenous Bar Association. Scott Robertson, vice-president of the IBA, said Newbould’s 2014 intervention helped derail the Saugeen First Nation’s “hard-fought negotiations” to resolve its land claim. The matter is now before the courts. Robertson said it was improper for Newbould to take a stand on an issue that he knew could wind up before the Superior Court.

In a statement Tuesday, Newbould’s lawyer said the CJC had already reviewed a complaint from the IBA and dismissed it in January 2015. The lawyer, Brian Gover, said the chairperson of the CJC’s judicial conduct committee determined it was not in the public interest to investigate the complaint.

Gover said the case was resurrected after the president of the IBA, Koren Lightning-Earle, asked the CJC to reconsider its decision and threatened possible “political action” if it did not.

Newbould maintains that once the complaints were dismissed, the CJC has no jurisdiction to reconsider a closed complaint. A CJC spokeswoman said the council reopened the file after receiving additional information.

Newbould apologized in 2014 “due to the perception caused by the fact he is a judge,” Gover said. He declined to specify to whom the apology was made. “Throughout the entirety of his distinguished judicial career, Justice Newbould has carried out his duties effectively and without bias,” he added.

The CJC is mandated to review complaints against federally appointed judges. Its chairwoman is Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, and its other 38 members are all senior judges.

“It’s important to note that all allegations regarding the judge have not been proven,” the council said in its statement announcing the inquiry into Newbould’s conduct.

And it is very possible they will never even be heard.

Gover said that Newbould, who is 73 and was named to the bench in 2006, has already informed the justice minister that he plans to retire on June 1 “for unrelated personal reasons.” Upon retirement, any outstanding judicial council complaint would be dropped.

• Email: ghamilton@nationalpost.com | Twitter:

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Want to stay in Sandra Bullock’s Tybee Island vacation home? You can now

If you want to know what it’s like to sleep in the luxurious vacation home of an A-list celebrity, your dreams are now within reach — depending on your income bracket.

As a bonus, you won’t have to travel too far.

Sandra Bullock’s Tybee Island home is now available for rent, according to Variety. The four-bedroom waterfront home, located on the north end of Tybee Island near the lighthouse, is listed on Tybee Vacation Rentals site.

The home could be yours to rent for $1,400 a night for a minimum of four nights. You’ll also need to put down a $750 deposit, and pony up for a $450 cleaning fee (so basically a minimum of $7,819 for the whole thing, according to the website).

But hey, the 3,400-square-foot plantation-style home sleeps 12, so you could divvy up the cost with you and your 11 closest friends.

Bullock, known for her roles in “Miss Congeniality,” “The Blind Side,” and “Gravity,” purchased the home in 2001 for $1.5 million, according to Variety.

If you can’t stay in the home, don’t worry, we have plenty of pictures for you ooh and aah over.