The District of Sicamous says it seeks to mitigate the negative impacts of short-term rentals through regulation.
The district plans to pass a zoning bylaw by June 2022, along with changes to its business license bylaw to regulate short-term rentals.
“In recent years, online services such as Vacation Rental by Owner or Airbnb have become popular in residential neighborhoods as an alternative to traditional tourist accommodations like hotels or motels,” reads an introduction to a section on rentals. short term on the district website. “However, short-term rentals can have a negative impact on local hotel businesses, housing availability and the residential character of neighborhoods.”
The borough defines “short-term rental” as the commercial use of a dwelling, when it is rented for periods of less than 30 days “as accommodation for tourists, travelers or seasonal residents”. A dwelling unit can be a single family home, an accessory suite, a shed, a duplex, an apartment, a townhouse, a condo or a mobile home.
According to the district, its current zoning bylaw does not explicitly address short-term rentals; however, the interpretation allows tourist accommodation in certain areas (with a valid business license). The proposed regulations “will clearly define and regulate where short-term rentals are permitted and include specific conditions for operating a short-term rental, such as the requirement of a permit or occupancy limits”.
If the new zoning bylaw is passed as currently proposed, those wishing to pursue short-term rentals will need to either rezone their property or obtain a temporary use permit. The rezoning application fee would be $700, while the official community rezoning and application fee would be $1,400. The fee for a temporary use permit would be $500. There would also be a public hearing fee of $450 and a sign rental fee of $300.
All short-term rentals, including bed and breakfasts, must be approved by the district.
“By licensing your home and adhering to regulations, you help limit negative impacts on the long-term rental market and ensure your home is a ‘good neighbour,'” the district said.
In addition, anyone operating a short-term rental is required to pay both provincial sales tax and regional district municipal tax (MRDT) for guest stays. The MRDT applies to all accommodation sales. It is collected by the province and returned to the district, to be used on approved destination marketing, for the benefit of all accommodation providers.
The first draft of the new bylaw received first reading from council in August 2021. Previously, the district conducted a public inquiry, seeking comment on short-term rentals and where they should be allowed to operate.
Consultation is ongoing during the adoption process and the public can still provide feedback. For more information or to provide feedback, email Sarah Martin at [email protected]
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