The following are briefs from the Feb. 25 regular council meeting:
Council voted to send notice to the Energy Step Code Council that it would be adopting step one of the energy efficiency building code strategy by Oct. 1, 2019 and step three by Oct. 1, 2020. The steps go up to five, or net-zero energy, by 2032 and will apply to all buildings built after adoption. While adoption is voluntary for municipalities, the NDP government has said that there will be more stringent building codes in coming years.
BIM building inspecter Greg Cormier said that many buildings currently being built are close to step three standards.
A plan to develop a short term rental policy came before council. It lays out a year-long public engagement and policy development plan for the contentious topic (many argue that short term vacation rentals remove rental housing stock from the market, others argue that they’re essential to the economy and those homes would not be up for long term rental anyway.) The work plan passed unanimously. BIM staff will examine best practices, policy and enforcement and, per the plan, there should be a public project launch in May.
In response to public outcry to address nuisance animal species (skunks in particular) council directed staff to do more public education (including how not to attract animals like skunks, rats and squirrels). Staff and council opted not for culls, due to high cost and low effectiveness. Councillor David Hocking also noted that even if BIM were to trap animals, they’re not legally allowed to remove them from the island.
Council also adopted its 2019 strategic plan (on its website called the “Island Plan.”) More on this next week.
Clarification: an earlier version of this story said that the government would be making STEP code mandatory in coming years. It is in fact the Building Code that is getting more strict, following the step code goals, but it isn't the step code that will be imposed. Sorry for the innacuracy.