The city of Penticton is looking for the public’s thoughts on short-term rentals in the city.
The city is conducting a study on the benefits and impacts of short-term rentals in Penticton and wants to hear from residents and operators. A short survey is now available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. The survey will run from Jan. 9 to 27.
“Short-term rentals provide benefits such as more accommodation options for tourists and mortgage helpers for the operators but more recently, questions have arisen about their impact on housing supply and traditional visitor accommodations such as hotels and motels. Given these questions, council asked staff to study the benefits and impacts of the current program in Penticton,” said Blake Laven, director of development services.
Today, there are 18,500 homes in the city and of these, about 360 to 500 are licensed short-term rentals. Nearly half of these short-term rentals are single-family homes which are primarily (57%) occupied by the operator.
In March 2022, Summerland council adopted a set of five bylaws governing short-term rental units in the community including requiring at least one primary residence dwelling unit on the lot, where someone lives most of the year and declares it as their principal home.
In Penticton, work got underway in the fall with the selection of EcoPlan International to complete the study. There will be data collection and interviews with local stakeholders including hotels, Okanagan College and Travel Penticton, among others.
In this next step, the community will be asked about their perspectives on short-term rentals. Short-term rental operators will also be invited to share their feedback by completing an online survey and participating in a focus group meeting.
Survey findings will be presented to council in the spring. Any proposed changes to the city’s short-term rental management program will be reviewed with the community prior to implementation.
This is one of several avenues the city is exploring to help relieve the housing pressures in the community, said Laven.
“This study will give us the information needed to support informed decisions on the future direction of the program. Council is looking forward to hearing the views of all citizens on this important topic,” said Penticton Mayor Julius Bloomfield. Paper copies of the survey are also available at the Penticton Public Library, the Community Centre and City Hall.
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is also conducting a survey to address concerns on short-term rentals. The survey will run from Jan. 11 to Feb. 15.
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