Pilot project supports compatibility of home-based studios in residential zones
At the October 8, 2019 regular meeting, Whistler Council supported recommendations from staff to allow home-based artist studios to sell artwork and crafts produced on the premises, without the requirement for a Temporary Use Permit.
A pilot program was implemented in 2016 requiring a temporary use permit (TUP) for sales of artwork and crafts from home-based artist studios—something that was not permitted in Whistler’s zoning bylaw for any home-occupation business. A sign bylaw amendment was adopted at the same time allowing one freestanding sign and one sandwich board sign, in addition to the single fascia sign permitted for any licensed home-based businesses.
Since the pilot program began, four artists applied for a TUP, and no issues or concerns were identified with sales or home-based studio uses in residential neighbourhoods.
Mayor Jack Crompton said, “The temporary use permit pilot process and program allowed the municipality to determine the extent of home-based studios in the community, to monitor community and visitor response, and, ultimately, to confirm that these are compatible uses in Whistler’s residential neighbourhoods.”
“We are pleased to move ahead with a zoning bylaw update to eliminate the requirement for temporary use permits for home-based studio sales. This update streamlines the licensing process for both artists and the municipality, and is supported by Arts Whistler and we are committed to supporting local art and local artists.”
Council provided first and second readings of a zoning amendment bylaw to remove the TUP requirement for sales from home-based artist studios. A public hearing will be scheduled as part of the zoning bylaw approval process. A sign bylaw amendment, which will continue to permit additional signage for home-based artist studios, also received first and second readings.
If the proposed bylaw amendments are adopted:
- the only differences between these studios and other home occupations are that the zoning bylaw would permit sales of artworks and crafts produced on the premises from home-based artist studios, and the sign bylaw would permit home-based artist studios to have two additional signs;
- home-based artist studios would be required to have the same RMOW permits as other home occupation businesses. These include a valid business licence and a sign permit. A TUP would no longer be required, thus streamlining the process and cost for these studios.