EDITORIAL: Trail concerns can be resolved

Airbnbs will bring challenges, such as traffic, but Coldstream should embrace them

It’s obvious that the Okanagan Rail Trail could create some growing pains.

As Coldstream council was discussing the Okanagan Rail Trail Monday, Coun. Doug Dirk questioned how aribnbs will help the district.

“Unless it brings us some revenue, it doesn’t make any sense because it’s going to bring us problems,” he said.

In other jurisdictions, airbnbs have certainly created some challenges in existing neighbourhoods, and particularly when it comes to parking. There is also concerns about turning residential areas into tourist destinations.

But Coldstream appears to be aware of that situation and is already providing direction to the newly formed tourism committee to deal with parking, and that could be critical if visitors show up with recreational vehicles or trailers for hauling bicycles.

The committee also needs to reflect on how airbnbs fit into day-t-day life in neighbourhoods.

But we should remember that there are already more traditional bed and breakfasts operating in parts of Coldstream so officials can learn from any previous experiences with them.

And these challenges are manageable if the district takes a proactive role and involves impacted residents in the process.

The bottom line, though, is the rail trail could open the doors to further economic opportunities in Coldstream and that is positive for everybody.