KENSINGTON – Kensington council is looking to crack down on home-based business operations that have not applied to the town for the necessary permits.
Town of Kensington. File photo
Kensington Deputy Mayor Rowan Caseley raised the issue at the May town council meeting following the approval of a home-based dog grooming operation in the town.
Cynthia Darrach applied to council to operate a dog grooming business from her home at 44 Sunset Drive.
Chief Administrative Officer Geoff Baker said Darrach’s application was in compliance with the town’s development control bylaw and recommended approval.
Following the vote, Caseley raised the issue of similar business operations who have not come to the city for approval.
“It’s good that we're having people who want to run a home-based business to come forward and make application,” he said. “I wonder if there’s any kind of an inventory of how many home-based businesses there are in the town that have not come forward? It’s not fair to the ones who comply. It’s not fair to the people who are paying the commercial rate. That’s the complaint we get from the commercial businesses – how can these home-based businesses be allowed to be operating when we’ve got vacant spots (in commercial buildings)?”
Baker said staff is in the process of pulling together an inventory.
“What we’re going to do is crosscheck that with our (property) assessment role,” he said. “It appears that some are being assessed correctly and some are not being assessed correctly, where a portion of the space being assessed as a commercial space. We are in the process of pulling that information together.”
Mayor Gordon Coffin said it could be difficult in finding out if an individual does have a home-based business.
“Again, if that’s the case, they could be operating and we’d have no way of being aware,” he said.
Caseley said if there is a sign or any kind of advertising, they city could be certain that there is a business operating out of the residence.
Baker suggested that council may want to consider operators being required to have a town-approved business licence for all home-based business operations rather than just applying for approval.
“Maybe the property committee should be directed to take a look at that issue and come forward with a recommendation for a licence and what the parameters should be for that. Take a look at the pros and cons,” Caseley said.
Baker said that determination would fall under the jurisdiction of council’s administration committee.
Caseley, chairman of the administration committee, said his group will be looking into the issue.