Kelowna council asked to get tough on short-term rentals – Kelowna News – Castanet.net

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Kelowna city council will be asked to resolve the short-term rental issue when it sits down at the table Monday afternoon.

Planning staff are bringing forth recommendations similar to those introduced in the fall which would eliminate short-term rentals across the city, except for a select few properties.

Planning manager Ryan Smith says the recommendation would effectively remove short-term rentals as a permitted use in single family and multi-family homes.

The proposal being brought forward exceeds legislation introduced by the province. That legislation limiting short-term rentals to a host’s principal residence will come into effect May 1.

“As far as we can tell, the new provincial regulations are not going to allow any exceptions for any of the properties that are currently grandfathered or where short-term rentals are a permitted use today,” Smith told Castanet News.

However, he says there are some limited opportunities for some to continue operating short-term rentals in their homes.

“There are 498 business licenses for various properties that we would have to grandfather because they meet the new provincial regulations, even though they wouldn’t meet Kelowna’s regulations. We would honour those as long as they were being abided by.

“Council could ask us to compile a list of other properties that should potentially be reconsidered or exempted by the province. We would then go back to the province with a resolution from council to see if we could get an exemption for them.”

Smith says there is also an opportunity for some buildings to change the way they operate and become strata hotels.

Sweeping changes to the city’s short-term rental bylaws were introduced last fall in the wake of the housing crisis in the city.

However, following a lengthy public hearing, council decided to defer making a decision until more information on the ramifications of provincial legislation was known.

With that information now available, staff are asking council to adopt the changes originally proposed.

Meantime, Smith says enforcing any changes adopted by council could be a challenge this year with bylaw already busy dealing with issues around the city’s homeless population on top of their regular duties.

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