Town of Brome Lake Council Meeting – February 2023

Francine Bastien 

Short-term rental regulations dominate the session
Mayor Richard Burcombe chaired the meeting in the presence of all councillors and about thirty citizens. Town clerk Owen Falquero presented the outline of the draft bylaw on short-term rental (less than 31 days) of primary and secondary residences: the bylaw is administrative in nature, it does not include any change in zoning or use. The bylaw also designates the sectors where the rental of secondary residences is permitted. 

Question Period 

Opponents argue that the bylaw fails to address the uncontrolled growth of short-term rentals, changing the character of communities, driving up housing costs, causing nuisance noise, back and forth, waste, etc. They call for a public consultation. To which Councillor Lee Patterson replied that such consultation is not necessary since there is no change in zoning or use and that the committee which studied the question did not want that. Another citizen who rents out his house on the lake asked how the bylaw would affect him. The mayor argued that the majority of citizens’ complaints about short-term rentals affect secondary homes. And what about the rental of secondary homes outside the identified areas? Another citizen argued that the number of complaints (less than 10 officially) does not justify such an outcry. Another citizen implored the town to find a consensus to rally the two opposing camps on this issue. What kind of community do we want to live in, he asked. 

Leisure, culture, tourism and community life 

Awarding of a $50,000 grant to the Brome County Historical Society. Annual financial assistance of $10,000 to the Medical Clinic. Grant of $5,000 to the “mannequins” project that will take place in Knowlton and $4,000 to the Tour des Arts. 

Next session: Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at CLB