Village area B&B proposal stirs up public opposition

A proposed bed and breakfast near the Village at Blue has many neighbours concerned and opposed to the concept.

The Blue Mountains council held a public meeting to consider a rezoning application for a property located at 107 Martin Grove, not far from the village. The proposed rezoning would add an exception to allow a bed and breakfast in the four bedroom home.

The plan would see three of the four bedrooms used in the bed and breakfast operation, with one bedroom remaining for the owner.

The proposal generated significant public opposition with many neighbouring property owners asking council to turn down the request.

A joint letter signed by a number of neighbours and read at the meeting by Deputy Clerk Kyra Dunlop suggested the proposal would turn into a short-term accommodation operation.

“This is a way to disguise a STA as a bed and breakfast,” the letter stated.

Regiane Filizola owns the property after purchasing it earlier this year. She said she is in the process of retiring from the Canadian military and plans to move to the home soon. The home is currently rented out. Filizola denied that her plan was to turn the operation into a short-term accommodation operation.

“It’s not just a short-term rental. It’s a bed-and-breakfast. It has rules and regulations,” she said. “I’m not going to have 20-30 people there all weekend. I do believe the bed and breakfast will have a positive impact on the local economy.”

Town planner Carter Triana explained that currently there are three STAs operating in the neighbourhood. All three existed prior to the town’s STA bylaw and were grandfathered in. Triana said due to the requirement for a 120-metre buffer zone around STAs, only two properties in the neighbourhood could possibly have a bed and breakfast operation – and only one of them would be permitted.

Neighbour Andy Babin spoke virtually at the meeting and expressed opposition to the idea.

“This is like a motel or hotel. It’s like a short-term rental on steroids. It doesn’t need to be on our street. This is an exceptionally quiet street. It will drastically change the neighbourhood,” said Babin.

A number of other speakers also expressed concerns and opposition to the rezoning at the meeting.

Council made no decision on the matter at the meeting, which was held to gather public input. A staff report with a recommendation will come to a council for a decision at a future meeting.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,