Background Information

What are Short Term Rentals?

A new Zoning By-law is being prepared which is proposing a definition of Short-Term Rental Unit as: a dwelling or dwelling unit, that in whole or in part, is rented or available for rent with the intention of financial compensation for an occupancy period of not more than 28 consecutive days but shall not include a bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, motel or any other use otherwise defined by this By-law.”

Some common examples of STRs are rentals on popular sites like AirBnb or VRBO.

What are Rules about Short Term Rentals?

STRs are permitted in certain areas of the Town under the draft new Zoning By-law. The following performance standards are proposed:

Where permitted by this By-law, a maximum of one short term rental unit is permitted on a residential lot in accordance with the following:

a) A short-term rental unit may only be located in a single detached dwelling that is the principal building on the lot;

b) A short-term rental unit shall not be permitted:

i) within a detached accessory building;

ii) in a recreational vehicle;

iii) in a tent or other similar temporary structure; or

iv) on a lot containing an additional dwelling unit, garden suite, home occupation, or boarding and rooming house;

c) A short-term rental unit shall only be permitted on a lot fronting on an open and municipally maintained street or road;

d) A short-term rental unit shall only be permitted on a lot serviced by municipal water services and municipal sewage services; and,

e) A short-term rental unit shall have a maximum of four (4) guest rooms with an overall total maximum occupancy of 8 persons for the rental unit as a whole.

A parking standard being 1 parking space per guest room.

Licensing under the Municipal Act

Under the Municipal Act, municipalities can enact licensing by-laws to regulate and govern STRs. Specifically, Section 8(3) authorizes a municipality to provide for a system of licenses and further under Section 151 details the licensing of businesses that enable the Town to prohibit a business without a license, refuse to grant or revoke a license, and impose conditions on a license holder.

Under a licensing by-law the Town would have the benefit of:

  1. Knowing the location of all legal STR in the Municipality;
  2. Requiring the online platform such as AirBnB to require a municipal license in order to advertise;
  3. Empowering staff to revoke or refuse licenses for properties where issues and non-compliance with municipal by-law are identified.
  4. Creating a “Renter’s Code of Conduct” to clearly identify the expectations of the municipality and neighbourhood regarding STR.
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