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Public hearing on Kelowna's short-term rental plan being held on Tuesday

Anyone that wants to express their views about proposed changes to the regulation of short-term rentals in Kelowna is reminded that a public hearing is being held this week.

The hearing, which begins at 3 pm at City Hall on Tuesday, will focus on the City of Kelowna’s plan to change the zoning bylaw to remove short-term rentals as a permitted secondary use.

There will be no discussion of recent announcements made by the provincial government on the matter.

“We are inviting public comment so that Council can understand the impacts of the changes being proposed specific to Kelowna, before coming to a decision,” said Ryan Smith, director of planning and development.

“At the same time, we know short-term rentals are having a negative impact on housing availability and affordability across the country – and that more regulatory changes are expected from the Province as a result.”

<who> Photo credit: 123RF

The Nov. 21 public hearing considerations will include:

  • Amending the zoning bylaw by removing short-term rental accommodation as a secondary use from all zones

  • Any associated amendments to ensure consistency with the zoning bylaw, such as ensuring related regulations in the parking and loading and site-specific uses sections are consistent with the proposed change

There will be no discussion of new principal residence requirements, changes to legal non-conforming use protections, the provincial short-term rental registry, the provincial compliance and enforcement unit, or increased fines and tickets.

"Our data shows [sic] that as many as 50 per cent of the approximately 2,400 short-term rentals currently listed in Kelowna are operating illegally," Smith explained.

"Kelowna is also experiencing a significant housing deficit and while short-term rentals can supplement the accommodation market and provide homeowners with opportunities for additional income, regulations are needed to reduce the strain on our local housing supply and ensure more long-term rentals are available for our current and future residents to live in."

If the proposed changes are approved by Council, any properties with valid secondary use short-term rental accommodation business licences would be permitted to continue operating.

Following the public hearing, the City said it will review legislation from the provincial government and report back to Council.

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