The Town of Oliver is looking at getting a handle on short-term vacation rentals in the community. Services like AirBnb and VRBO provide important tourist accommodation, but can bring along a series of challenges cutting into the supply of rental units and changing the character of neighbourhoods.
Town staff identified 24 properties suspected of operating as vacation rentals and found 96% of them in areas designated for single family homes. The report suggested council could outright ban vacation rentals or try to control them through a permitting process similar to Nelson and Penticton
A B&B is a place in a home which can be rented to those wanting such a travel option – no kitchen allowed.
A vacation rental can be a suite within a house or a whole house which is not occupied by an onsite owner.
Town staff, however, are recommending the municipality conduct public consultation on the issue before making a final decision, as the town hasn’t gathered enough feedback on the issue to date.
“As any change to the current regulation of vacation rentals will likely require an amendment to the Official Community Plan, the town will need to undertake ‘early and ongoing’ consultation with any ‘persons, organizations and authorities’ that council deems appropriate,” the report states.
Zoning and the OCP actually does NOT allow vacation rentals in low density zones but Town staff have issued business licenses to 2 such operations. Staff now seeking advice from public and council on how to bring the issue into conformity with all laws, bylaws, and policies.
While vacation rentals have emerged as an important form of tourist accommodation in many communities over the past decade, and have allowed home owners to generate a revenue
stream offset high property costs they also presented myriad of concerns complaints. This includes, but is not limited to: communities over the past decade, and
have allowed home owners to generate a revenue stream offset high property costs they also presented myriad of concerns complaints. This includes, but is not limited to:
communities over the past decade, and have allowed home owners to generate a revenue stream offset high property costs they also presented myriad of concerns complaints. This includes, but is not limited to:
• changing the character of a neighbourhood by removing dwelling from residential use;
• increasing the cost of housing and real estate;
• contributing to a reduction in long term rentals;
• incentivizing property owners to leave dwellings vacant in the off-season;
• erosion of tax base as vacation rentals may not be subject to the same requirements commercially zoned hotels/motels;
• creating conflicts in residential neighbourhoods through the generation of excessive noise, parking congestion, and unsightly premises; fire hazards due to overcrowding; safety and fire hazards due to overcrowding; and
• utilizing more water, sewer and solid waste collection services than typical dwelling unit.
the 24 properties identified as potentially comprising an operating vacation rental, 95.8% were in a zone that only permits single detached dwellings principal type dwelling unit. The most common which “rental” may be is RS1 (79.2%) followed by RS2 12.5%), RD1 4.2%) and AGX 4.2%).
In the end Town Council will consult with the public in some form in the weeks and months ahead. Council members expressed some differences in what should be promoted. Some concern about wild parties if vacation rentals not supervised by an owner occupier and other concerned about promoting an idea that could reduce rental stock in the community.
One part of the discussion is the high cost of a Business License for such uses and the need for a high level of bylaw enforcement 1. to get owners to comply and 2. to supervise locations where noise and nuisance could occur.