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North Pender Island

Presentation to the Trust Council, March 9th, 2011

History of STVR's on North Pender Island

Vacation Rentals in your Neighbourhood
Letter published in the Islands Independent

In the last edition of the Island Independent, our organization gave a history of the Islands Trust’s dealings with vacation rentals. Since then, people have mentioned that they were unaware of this history and have offered their sympathetic support. We are grateful to those who were willing to dig a little deeper for the truth. Unfortunately, our profile is low in many neighbourhoods and many of you do not even know that we are here. This letter is to tell you more about us. You may be surprised that, once again, the facts are quite different from what you may have been told.

A number of us belong to a registered not-for-profit society (PIVAA) that has a president, board of directors and a membership made up of responsible vacation home owners. We have our own bylaws and a strict written code of conduct that must be adhered to. In fact, the practices we impose on our members are far more responsible and restrictive than those of many resident island homeowners. Our code includes strict controls on the responsibilities of owners and renters, limiting accommodation density, permitted activity on the property, conservation of resources, good neighbour practices, noise control, parking, pet control, property maintenance and public safety. These conditions are all upheld by our members and guests because they are families just like yours. They are here because they respect our island and want to enjoy and be a part of it.

Over the last few years, vacation rentals have been the target of some less-than-honest complaints.  A factual investigation will reveal that they often can be traced back to a few disaffected people or they are legitimate complaints about one or two owners who we agree should not be allowed to operate. Specifically regarding noise, we found that complaints attributed to vacation rentals were actually noisy parties at the homes of full time residents, owners weekending and monthly rental houses. Also, a reality check will confirm that none of our members is the subject of a complaint to the RCMP or Islands Trust bylaw enforcement office. That is very odd if we are such a problem.

Of course, there are people out there who may offer their homes on an uncontrolled, ad-hoc basis and perhaps this is where the trust should focus its energies – in places where people are acting irresponsibly.  We just wanted to set the record straight. We are like most of you. We are conscientious, responsible people with a respect for our island and we are working hard to preserve it socially, environmentally and economically.  

Bruce Pendergast President - PIVAA
Pender Islands Vacation Accommodations Association


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