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Summerland introduces bylaws governing short-term rental units

Public hearing scheduled for Jan. 24, 2022
A public hearing will be held in January, 2022 on a regulatory framework governing short-term rentals in Summerland. (Black Press file photo)

Summerland council has given first and second readings to a number of bylaws affecting short-term rentals in the community.

At the municipal council meeting, JoAnn Peachey, a planner with the development services council, presented the regulatory framework for short-term rentals in Summerland.

Under the proposed framework, short-term rentals can include a traditional bed and breakfast operation as well as the rental of an entire dwelling unit.

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The proposed regulations would require at least one primary residence dwelling unit on the lot, where someone lives most of the year and declares it as their principal home. The regulations also call for a limit of one short-term rental per lot and a limit to one single detached dwelling, manufactured home or secondary suite or carriage house. A limit of four bedrooms and eight guests is in the framework, with no kitchens in bedrooms.

A business license would be required to operate a short-term rental. This license would require passing a health and safety inspection.

In November, Summerland council received comments from the public about regulating short-term rental units. Responses to a survey were mixed and opinions were divided.

Peachey said short-term rental units are already operating in Summerland, with no indication of a permanent resident living on the property.

“The risk of this regulatory approach is the creation of an additional enforcement workload in continually having to shut down non-compliant operators,” she said in a report to council. “In many cases, some operators may perceive bylaw infractions as the cost of doing business for operating their unlicensed short-term rental and proceed anyways due to expected revenue windfalls.”

She added that there is a lack of alternative forms of tourist accommodations in Summerland, with one resort hotel, one motel and limited campground space in the community.

The first two readings of the regulatory bylaws passed unanimously at council. A public hearing will be held Jan. 24 at the Summerland Arena Banquet Room, 8820 Jubilee Rd.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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