Credit: Airbnb

Residents want short-term rentals in Lake Country

Currently, the district doesn't have policies in place for short-term rentals

Lake Country residents want short-term rentals.

In a report which will be presented to district council Tuesday night, 48 per cent of residents surveyed said short-term rentals should be allowed. Forty-one per cent said no.

Currently, the district does not have any policies in place for short-term rentals in residential zones.

“Bylaw infractions are taking place. Yet the current capacity to enforce bylaw infractions does not facilitate proactive enforcement,” said the report. “Bylaw enforcement based on complaint leaves the onus on those residents who are willing to file a formal complaint with the district, and capacity within this model is also strained.”

“The district also faces a shortage of tourist accommodation.”

In order to regulate short-term rentals, the report outlines options including temporary use permits and land use permits.

“There was little interest in having a full public process for each application, but there is interest in regulating them on an even playing field with existing bed and breakfast businesses.”

Suggestions were made in the report to define “Short Term Vacation Rental,” having zoning bylaw amendments, adding a two per cent surcharge to be remitted on all room nights, businesses to have licenses and annual reporting of total room nights, the number of rooms and revenue collected would be required.

A business license would be $100 annually after the first free year, said the report.

“If even half of the 300 or so short‐term rentals in the community became compliant, this would equate to an addition $15,000 in revenue for the district.”

The report was created as council directed staff to begin research to develop a short-term vacation rental policy.

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