City of Nanaimo council has given three readings to bylaw amendments regulating home-based businesses. (Stock photo)

City of Nanaimo’s new home business regulations nearing adoption

Councillors unanimously give bylaw third reading following public hearing

The City of Nanaimo is close to replacing its 20-year-old home business regulations.

Councillors, following a public hearing Feb. 13, unanimously passed third reading of a zoning amendment bylaw and now await B.C. government approval before final adoption.

The amendments introduce an updated classification system based on lot size which regulates the type of business permitted, size of the business, number of employees and daily clients, parking requirements, hours of operation and signage.

A staff report notes that there are approximately 2,300 home-based business operating in the city currently, representing 3,400 jobs in a wide range of sectors.

“The regulations are intended to respect and balance the interest of the businesses and the surrounding neighbourhoods in which the businesses are located,” the report notes. “Ideally, home-based businesses should operate in a manner that does not adversely affect the quality and liveability of the neighbourhood.”

Previously, home businesses were allowed a maximum of five vehicle return trips per day, but the amendment will up the maximum to 8-10 return trips per day on larger lots.

On lots smaller than 370 square metres, home businesses will no longer be allowed a non-resident employee, and personal services including hair, skin, nails, brows, personal wellness, tattooing, etc., will no longer be permitted.

Another change will see limited auto repair permitted on lots larger than 2,020 square metres. Lots that size will also see limited retail permitted, so long as the products sold are manufactured at the home-based business.

RELATED: Nanaimo city staff recommending changes to home-based business regulations

Only one Nanaimo resident spoke at the public hearing. Janna Gillick expressed opposition, talking about anticipated problems around shared driveways. She said the allowable numbers of vehicle trips were “excessive” and had concerns about traffic, liability, maintenance and wear and tear.

“This is why the review was initially asked for by council, was because of some of these conflict issues,” said Bill Corsan, deputy director of community development. “That’s why going through this process is trying to identify ways of mitigating conflict because the bylaw was about 20 years old and hadn’t been reviewed.”

City planner Caleb Horn said if home-based businesses can’t meet regulations, the city can initiate “further conversation” or “impose conditions.”

“We also do, of course, operate on a complaint basis if we have issued a home-based business [licence] and we do have concerns of this nature involving heat, glare, noise, radiation, anything like that that is crossing a lot line,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City Hall

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo air compressor business helps manufacture parts for COVID-19 fight

VMAC has crafted parts now being tested in prototype ventilator created at University of Minnesota

‘Stay strong’ graffiti message offers encouragement in downtown Nanaimo

Boarded-up Modern Café regains some of its colour during COVID-19 pandemic

Couple celebrates anniversary through a window at Nanaimo seniors’ home

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

Beefs & Bouquets, April 1

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

RDN enters into Stage 2 water restrictions, City of Nanaimo enters Stage 1

Stage 2 sees odd-number addresses watering on odd-number days and vice-versa

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Thieves taking advantage of empty streets, say Nanaimo RCMP

Police offer crime prevention reminders during COVID-19 pandemic

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Most Read