Following guidance from the province's Restart BC Plan and new health and safety regulations from WorkSafeBC, we are taking all necessary steps to protect public health and maintain the safety of our employees.
Short-term rental accommodations
We are considering bylaw changes to allow short-term rentals in some circumstances. These changes will add fairness by treating short-term rentals like similar businesses, while protecting the supply of long-term rental housing and managing impacts, such as noise.
'Short-term rental' describes the practice of renting out a home, or a room in a home, or even a bed, for vacation stays of 28 days or less, commonly through an online platform such as Airbnb.
Under our existing zoning bylaw, bed & breakfasts, and boarders and lodgers are permitted, but short-term rentals are not.
News and updates
November 25, 2019 – Council workshop
Staff presented a report to Council with the proposed regulatory approach and a summary of public engagement. Council directed staff to conduct additional engagement.
June – August 2018 – Public engagement
From June – August 2018, we hosted an online survey and informational pop up events, where we asked residents to share their thoughts on our proposed bylaw changes.
June 11, 2018 – Report to Council
Staff presented Council with a regulatory framework to permit short-term rentals, including specific bylaw amendments. Council directed staff to seek public input on proposed regulatory approach.
- View the report to Council (starts on page 233)
Proposed bylaw changes
Proposed rules for short-term rentals
To enable short-term rentals, bylaws would be amended to:
- include regulations that a short-term rental can only be operated in the principal residence, and with a valid business licence
- allow short-term rentals in single-family homes, secondary suites, and coach houses
- require dedicated off-street parking for each short-term rental unit
Review the proposed bylaw changes in depth
To enable short-term rentals, we will need to make amendments to four existing bylaws. These are the proposed amendments:
We would revise the zoning bylaw to create a regulatory framework for the operation of short-term rentals in the District.
The bylaw would be amended to:
- include regulations that a short-term rental can only be operated in the principal residence and with a valid business licence
- prohibit short-term rentals in townhouses and condos
- allow a maximum of six patrons at one time
- have one dedicated on-site parking space
Business licence bylaw
We would revise the business licence bylaw to regulate a short-term rental business similar to how we regulate bed & breakfasts.
The bylaw would be amended to require:
- an annual business licence to operate a short-term rental
- inclusion of the business licence number when advertising a short-term rental
- emergency contact info and safety equipment for short-term rentals and bed & breakfasts
Fees and charges bylaw
We would revise the fees and charges bylaw to create a $200 fee for a short-term rental business licence, which will cover costs for administering the short-term rental program.
Bylaw notice enforcement bylaw
We would revise the bylaw notice enforcement bylaw to create offenses for short-term rental regulations, allowing us to issue fines of up to $500 per violation of the rules.
Why are we proposing these changes?
Short-term rentals are part of the emerging sharing economy, and active regulation will help us manage any negative impacts.
These changes will allow property owners (or tenants, with permission of the property owner) to earn additional income from their properties and create opportunities for short term stays by visitors, while helping to maintain the pool of affordable long-term rentals, and manage any impacts to the surrounding community, such as noise and parking.