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  • Writer's pictureRiley Gettens

Short-Term Rental Legislation coming to the board on March 21

Updated: Mar 10


2023 MAR 10 UPDATE -

This issue is coming to the March 21st Board Meeting (*my mistake, I thought it was March 7). Here is a bit of clarification from questions I have been asked. There is a flurry of provincial housing initiatives coming through.


This first question is whether Area F should opt-in to the provincial ‘principal residence’ requirement for short-term rentals (STR).


  • If a rural Area opts in, short-term rentals will be limited to the host’s principal residence plus one secondary suite or accessory dwelling. However, for Area F our land use restrictions remain. 


  • In most cases, if Area F opts in, this means that someone living in Vancouver can no longer buy a home in GWB and rent it out as a short-term rental.

  • This STR requirement does not mean that the property owner has to remain on site if they chose to rent out their primary residence. So, a homeowner can go on holiday and while they are away, rent out their home.


  • By opting in,

    • The RDOS will be able to impose much more significant fines. 

    • Platforms (like Airbnb) will be required to remove a listing without a valid local government license.  

    • The principal residence requirement will be enforced by the province.

  • Regional District requests to opt in are due on March 31, with changes taking effect on November 1 of the same year.

 

 

Bill 44 is a different matter all together and is, in part, increasing density with small-scale multi-use housing (accessory dwellings, increasing units per parcel).  Because Greater West Bench has a long-standing hazard land designation, GWB (as I understand it) exempt from these new provincial requirements.  Faulder/Meadow Valley are also likely exempt due to water scarcity. All to be confirmed. RDOS Staff are working on this now.


 

March 21*, 2024, RDOS Board Meeting, the Electoral Areas will either 'opt-in' or remain 'out' of the new provincial short-term rental (STR) accommodation legislation. The opt-in deadline is March 31, 2024 (changes take effect November 1, 2024). The next deadline to opt-in deadline is March 31, 2025.


For more details on the legislation, see the bottom of this post for links and PDFs.


If an Electoral Area opts in, a principal residence requirement will limit short-term rentals to the host's principal resident plus one secondary suite or accessory building. Note that secondary suites and accessory dwellings are not permitted in most of Area F. Hosts will require a business license if required by their local government (this would be a new role for the RDOS) before being able to advertise on platforms like AirBnB. The province will establish a provincial compliance and enforcement unit.


 
Short-term rentals have heavily impacted some Electoral Areas like OK Falls (Area D), Kaleden (Area I), and Naramata (Area E). A quick look at AirBnB confirms that Area F is not an short-term rental hotspot compared to our rural neighbours, Penticton, and Summerland.

I took these AirBnB screenshots last night. From left to right: Ok Falls, Naramata, and Kaleden. Each white dot is also an AirBnB. In comparison, Greater West Bench and Rural Summerland have two listings. In North Beach, there are six listings.

 

CONSIDERATIONS


  • Not one Area F citizen has told me they want to see Area F become a short-term rental (STR) hotspot.

  • I do not want Area F to become a short-term rental hotspot.

  • Opting into this new legislation is in the best interest of Area F if we value remaining rural, rural residential, and residential communities.

  • I am inclined to opt in next year (March 2025). Note - citizens have made it clear to me that the preference is to opt in March 2024.

    • Area F would benefit from seeing how this all pans out before committing.

    • This legislation is a significant change; a steep learning curve and a new bureaucratic process will be introduced.

    • I do not believe investors will look to Area F as a place to invest short-term rental dollars. The window between now and March 2025 is too narrow. Area F citizens and I have made it clear that Area F is not looking to become a STR rental haven.

  • However, this is a significant issue for many of our neighbours (see images above). If helpful, I am open to supporting Ok Falls, Kaleden, and Naramata and opting in this year (March 2024)

  • I have yet to hear from many Area F citizens on this, which to me, confirms that STRs are not a pressing issue for Area F.


RECAP:

  • Opting in or out of the new provincial legislation on short-term rentals will come to the Board on March 7, 2024.

  • I don't believe Area F would be negatively impacted by waiting until 2025.

  • However, if our neighbours need our support, I am open to opting in this year if that would be helpful.


I'd like to hear your thoughts. Do you have a strong opinion one way or the other? Do you have concerns or a preference for opting in now or in 2025? Am I missing anything important that you'd like to share? Please see the important background information below if you have questions about the legislation or process.

Thank you,

Riley

250-488-0246


 

IMPORTANT BACKGROUND INFORMATION | PLEASE READ FOR MORE INFO


The attached PDFs were provided by a colleague who attended the UBCM Housing Summit 2024 in Vancouver on Feb. 13 and 14.

STR Overview - BC Housing - Jan 2024
.pdf
Download PDF • 795KB


str policy guidance - BC GOVT - 2023
.pdf
Download PDF • 795KB

  • RDOS Staff recommends that the consideration of opting into the provincial "President Resident Requirement" under the Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act be deferred to 2025.



 

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