Short Term Rentals Review

str


January 21, 2021 Update

Short-term Rental Business Licence Applications are now available for residents who want to STR their principal residence. Visit the new STR Business Licence page for info on how to apply for a licence.

Short-term Rental Temporary Use Permit (TUP) Applications are also now available for residents who want to STR their non-principal residence (secondary suite or coach house).

*TUP Application submission window will open January 25 and close February 14, 2021*

The District will issue up to 30 STR TUPs to allow for short-term rental of non-principal residences on a temporary basis (initial 2 year term). Learn more about STR TUP Eligibility, Application Process, Fees and Requirements.

For questions on the STR business licensing or TUP processes, please email planning@squamish.ca.


January 8, 2021 Update

The final draft of the Short-Term Rentals Interim Temporary Use Permit (TUP) Policy is scheduled for consideration of Council approval at the January 12, 2021 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

If approved, the District will put out a call for Short-Term Rental Temporary Use Permit applications and provide residents with a three-week window during which to submit a Short-Term Rentals Temporary Use Permit application. Details on how to apply for the permit will be posted here. 

The public is invited to tune in to the January 12 meeting via live stream. The TUP Policy will be considered at approximately 3 p.m. The January 12 meeting agenda, with links to the STR Interim TUP Policy and staff report are available here.

Sign up to receive Short Term Rental updates.

December 11, 2020 Update

With new Short-term rental (STR) regulations coming into place, the District is getting ready to permit and license Squamish STRs in 2021.

STR Permits and Licences

As highlighted in this table, there are 2 approval streams that will be available to license Short-term Rental (STR) operations in the District of Squamish.

STR Use of Dwelling STREAM 1 STREAM 2
STR Use of Principal Residence
(Partial or Temporary Use of Entire Home)
STR use in Secondary Suites and Accessory Dwellings(Development of an interim policy is in progress)
Permitting + Licensing Business Licence Applications
Open January 2021
Temporary Use Permit Required Business Licence Application Required
Process Details
  • Short-term Rental Use permitted subject to owner and strata authorization and obtaining a Business Licence
  • Detailed business bylaw requirements apply to operations (building and fire safety, parking, emergency contact info etc)
  • Annual Business Licence fees apply: 
    -   Monthly Shared or Private Rooms $50
    -   Annual Shared or Private Rooms $300
    -   Monthly Entire Dwelling $150
    -   Annual Entire Dwelling $900
  • A limited number of Temporary Use Permits to be issued in 2021 (TUP Cap proposed at 30 units)
  • Time-limited Term (2 Years proposed for initial TUP)
  • A TUP Application Fee will apply ($1000-$1200)
  • Future TUP renewals at Council discretion; to be evaluated with interim policy and STR program in 2022
  • Detailed business bylaw requirements apply to operations (building and fire safety, parking, emergency contact info etc)
  • Annual Business Licence fees will apply ($3000 /year for Non-Principal Residence Unit).
Following a 4-month grace period, active STR enforcement concerning unlicensed STRs will begin on April 1, 2021. For clarity, complaint-driven enforcement is continuing through this grace period.

Stream 1: Business Licences For Principal Residence STRs

Stream 2: Temporary Use Permits and Licences for Non-Principal Residences (Suites and Accessory Dwellings)

For questions on STR Bylaws or the forthcoming licensing process, please email planning@squamish.ca.

 

November 26, 2020 Update:

The suite of five STR Amendment Bylaws were adopted at the November 17, 2020 Special Council Meeting. This means the new STR regulations are now in effect. 

A four (4) month active enforcement grace period is also now in effect. Active enforcement will begin on April 1, 2021. For clarity, complaint-driven enforcement is continuing through this grace period; to report a short-term rental related issue, go to the bylaw complaint page here

At the November 17, 2020 Council Meeting, Council also passed the following resolution:

THAT Council endorse the expedited Temporary Use Permit Option 2B described in the Short-term Rentals – Options to legitimize STRs in some existing Suites and Accessory Dwelling Units report dated November 17, 2020; AND THAT Council direct staff to draft a Temporary Use Permit STR Policy and expedited process details and decision criteria, prior to active enforcement of the Short-term Rental bylaws.

Council has given staff direction to move forwards with legitimizing a limited number of STRs in suites and coach houses through the use of Temporary Use Permits (TUPs). Following this direction, staff are drafting an STR Interim Temporary Use Permit (TUP) Policy to bring forward for Council feedback on December 8, 2020. The TUP Policy will outline the permit process, criteria against which to evaluate applications, the length of term of the permit and the maximum number of permits to be issued. A link to the draft TUP Policy will be posted here prior to the meeting date and this page will be updated as the policy is developed. 

December 8, 2020 meeting agenda, staff report and draft TUP Policy   

November 13, 2020 Update:

The Short-term Rental (STR) Zoning Amendment Bylaw received third reading at the October 20, 2020 Special Council Meeting. Minutes from the meeting are available here, and a video replay of the meeting is available here.

The suite of five STR Amendment Bylaws (Zoning, Business Licence, Fees and Charges, Municipal Ticket Information, and Bylaw Notice Enforcement) are scheduled for consideration of adoption at the November 17, 2020 Special Council Meeting. The public is invited to tune in via live stream beginning at 6 p.m. (please note the STR adoption item will occur later on the meeting agenda).

At the November 3, 2020 Council Meeting, Council passed the following resolution:

THAT when the Short Term Rental (STR) bylaw is brought forward for adoption, staff also bring back for council consideration an analysis of the following options available to legitimize a limited number of STRs in secondary suites and carriage houses:

Following Council direction, staff will also present an analysis of options to legitimize a limited number of STRs in suites and coach houses at the November 17 Council Meeting.

The November 17 meeting agenda, with linked STR adoption and options staff reports, is available here.

This STR project page will continue to be updated with information on implementation of the STR regulations, including business licencing and enforcement. Please continue to check in for updates! If you have any questions on any of the STR Amendment Bylaws or the STR project in general, please email planning@squamish.ca.

 

October 16, 2020 Update:

The Short-term Rental regulations Public Hearing was held on September 29, 2020. A summary of the Public Hearing is available here, and a video replay of the meeting is available here.

The Short-term Rental (STR) Zoning Amendment Bylaw is scheduled for consideration of third reading at the October 20, 2020 Special Council Meeting. The public is invited to tune in via live stream beginning at 6 p.m. (please note the STR item will occur later on the meeting agenda). The October 20 meeting agenda, with linked STR staff report, is available here: https://squamish.civicweb.net/filepro/documents?preview=190442 

In accordance with the Local Government Act and rules of Procedural Fairness, Council is not able to receive public comments or submissions after the close of the Public Hearing, unless they are prepared to hold a further public hearing at which others have the opportunity to make further representations, or to respond to what is submitted.

If you have any questions or would like clarification on any of the STR Amendment Bylaws or the STR project, please email planning@squamish.ca

 

September 25, 2020 Update:

Information for the Short-term Rentals Public Hearing on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 6 p.m.

The Short-term Rentals Public Hearing meeting agenda, along with staff report and compiled public comments received to date, is now available here.

Public Hearing participation instructions are available here.

To Participate Electronically: 

https://districtofsquamish.webex.com/districtofsquamish/onstage/g.php?MTID=e732d902feb4c038d299ae0c30aaa3674

To Participate by Phone:

Phone in number: 1-604-449-3026     Access code: 146 367 8438

Watch the live-stream beginning at 6 p.m. on September 29 (if you just want to watch and not participate) here.

Please note that in person participation, at Brennan Park Recreation Centre, 1009 Centennial Way, is available for those who don’t have the ability or means to participate electronically.

Council will be participating electronically and will not be there in person. In person attendance is limited to 30 people. If the space reaches capacity, options will be to connect via phone or provide comments in writing. We will have comment forms available to be filled in and staff will be available to read out participant’s comments if requested. Comments received in writing or via email (hearing@squamish.ca), will be sent to Council during the hearing.

 

September 21, 2020 Update:

Please direct comments on the Short Term Rentals bylaws to hearing@squamish.ca. All comments received to date through this project page have been forwarded to the Public Hearing scheduled for September 29 at 6 p.m.  and are part of the Public Record. For more information please see the Public Meetings and Hearings page.

 

September 3, 2020 Update:

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the proposed STR regulations is now available.

The Public Hearing is scheduled for September 29 at 6 p.m. Instructions on how to participate in the Public Hearing are available here

 

July 31, 2020 Update: 

The Short-term Rental (STR) Zoning Amendment Bylaw received second reading at the July 21, 2020 Special Council Meeting. The STR Business Licence, Bylaw Notice Enforcement and Municipal Ticket Information Amendment Bylaws received first, second and third readings at the same July 21 meeting, and will now be put on hold until after the Public Hearing process is complete. The STR Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw received first, second and third readings at the July 28 Special Council Meeting and will also be on hold until after the Public Hearing.  

The Public Hearing has been set for September 29, 2020 at 6 p.m. to be held and streamed from the Stawamus Activity Centre Room at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. The Public Hearing is the opportunity to directly address Council with your comments and provide feedback on the STR regulations. In person attendance will likely be limited due to COVID measures, so please plan to participate via our online streaming platform. Additional details on the Public Hearing and ways to participate will be posted closer to the Hearing date. The District is refining its virtual engagement methods for the public hearing to maintain physical distancing during the COVID response. 

The STR Amendment Bylaws can be reviewed at the following links:

In the lead up to the Public Hearing, please continue to share your thoughts on the STR regulations by emailing planning@squamish.ca. All public comments received by 3 p.m. on September 29, 2020 will be compiled and brought forward for Council’s consideration at the Public Hearing.

If you have any questions or would like clarification on any of the STR Amendment Bylaws or the STR project, please also email planning@squamish.ca

July 17, 2020 Update: 

The draft Short-term Rental (STR) bylaw amendments are scheduled for consideration of second reading at the July 21, 2020 Special Council Meeting. The public is invited to tune in via live stream beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Note that this meeting for consideration of second reading is not a public hearing; opportunity to directly address Council will occur through the public hearing (date, time and place to be confirmed after second reading). The District is working on virtual public engagement methods for the public hearing to maintain physical distancing during the COVID response.

The STR bylaw amendments, staff report and supporting information are available at this link

Please continue to share your thoughts on the STR regulations by emailing planning@squamish.ca. All comments received by 4:00 pm on July 20, 2020 will be compiled and brought forward for Council’s consideration at the July 21 meeting. 

June 9, 2020 Update (information links added on June 12): 

The draft Short-term Rental (STR) regulations have been revised based on Council feedback from the March 10, 2020 Council Committee of the Whole workshop. The bylaw amendments are scheduled for consideration of first reading at the June 16, 2020 Special Council Meeting. The public is invited to tune in via live stream beginning at approximately 10 a.m: https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/meetings/live-meetings/

Note that this meeting for consideration of first reading is not a public hearing; opportunity to directly address Council will occur through the public hearing (date to be determined). The District is working on virtual public engagement methods for the public hearing to maintain physical distancing during the COVID response.

The revised bylaw amendments are available here: https://squamish.civicweb.net/filepro/documents?expanded=10877,178730&preview=185042

The staff report and supporting information are available here: https://squamish.civicweb.net/FileStorage/431014FE3C734939A0BA95084ED3E27E-Short-term%20Rental%20Bylaw%20Amendments%20-%20First%20Reading.pdf

Please continue to share your current thoughts on the STR regulations by emailing planning@squamish.ca. All comments and emails received by 4:00pm on June 15, 2020 will be compiled and brought forward for Council’s consideration at the June 16 meeting. 

April 2020 Update:

At the March 10, 2020 Council Committee of the Whole workshop, the draft Short-term Rentals (STR) regulations and implementation plan were reviewed. Council directed staff to bring forward the proposed STR bylaw amendments for consideration of formal readings and provided the following feedback to consider and provide detail respecting:

For full comments refer to Council video and meeting minutes: To view the video replay of the March 10 meeting here (select the “Committee of the Whole – March 10, 2020” option from the drop down menu, item 3v). Read the March 10 meeting minutes here (item 3v). View the staff presentation slides here.

Staff are now revising the bylaw amendments based on Council feedback, and will bring forward the STR regulations for consideration of first reading Spring 2020 (date to be determined).

This project webpage will be kept up to date, including the date(s) when Council will formally consider the bylaw amendments and all public representations respecting the bylaw amendments. The District is currently working on virtual public engagement methods for future hearings to maintain physical distancing during the COVID response.

Continue to share your thoughts on the draft STR regulations by emailing planning@squamish.ca. All comments and emails will be compiled and brought forward for Council’s consideration. 

March 2020 Update:

The draft Short-term Rentals regulations, staff report and other supporting information are now available: click here to view.

The Short-term Rentals regulations will be reviewed by Council at the Tuesday, March 10 workshop during the Committee of the Whole Meeting.

The public is invited to tune in via live stream beginning at approximately 1:45 p.m.

This project page will be updated following the workshop to summarize Council feedback and direction, and outline the next steps in the project 

The District continues to welcome feedback on the draft regulations by email to planning@squamish.ca.

February 2020 Update: 

A Council workshop has been confirmed for Tuesday, March 10. At this workshop, Council will review and provide feedback on the draft Short-term Rentals regulations (bylaw amendments) and implementation plan. The draft regulations and all supporting info will be available on Friday, March 6, and will be posted to this project page.

This workshop is not a formal public hearing. Opportunities for the public to address Council in person will occur as part of the public hearing when draft regulations are brought forward for formal readings. No date has been set for bylaw readings; this page will be updated when confirmed. Prior to the public hearing, the District welcomes continued feedback on the draft regulations by emailing planning@squamish.ca.

January 2020 Update: 

The draft Short-Term Rental bylaw amendments have been delayed, but will be made available for public review and comment in February. 

A tentative Council workshop is planned for Tuesday, March 10 to provide an opportunity for Council, as well as stakeholders and the public, to review and comment on the draft bylaws before a formal amendment process is initiated. This project page will be updated when the Council workshop date is confirmed.

No date has been set for Council’s formal consideration of the proposed bylaw amendments.

November 2019 Update:

Staff are currently preparing draft bylaw amendments that are aligned with Council’s endorsed Short-Term Rental Regulatory Option C (principal residence requirement), along with an implementation, monitoring and evaluation plan as part of the proposed regulatory framework. The draft bylaw amendments will be made available for public review and comment in January 2020.

No date has been set for Council’s formal consideration of the proposed bylaw amendments. This project page will be kept up to date and provide notification on future Council dates, as well as ongoing options for submitting public input.

July 2019 Update:

At the June 11 Committee of the Whole meeting, Phase 2 community engagement results were discussed along with a preferred regulatory option for crafting a short-term rental regulatory (STR) framework.

District Council has endorsed Short-Term Rental Regulatory Option C (primary or principal residence requirement) and directed staff to draft bylaw amendments for this option. The selected option does not initially include the short-term rental of secondary suites or accessory dwellings (coach houses) as a precautionary approach, which will be followed by close monitoring and evaluation, so that the regulations can be adapted in the future once the impacts of STR regulation are better understood.

Staff has also been directed to consider the following:

Staff will be preparing bylaw amendments during summer 2019 with the aim to bring forward a draft in early fall for Council consideration. This project webpage will be kept up to date throughout this process, including future date(s) when Council will formally consider the bylaw amendments and public representations respecting the drafted short-term rental bylaws.


The June 11 Council meeting is available for viewing here (select the “Committee of the Whole – June 11, 2019” option from the drop down menu, item 4vi). View the presentation slides here: click to open pdf.

Continue to share your perspectives in the lead up to Council’s formal consideration of a regulatory framework by leaving a comment using the comment field at the bottom of this page, or by emailing the staff contact, Aja Philp.

June 2019 Update:

Community engagement results from Phase 2 of the Short-Term Rental Review will be presented to Council on Tuesday, June 11 at approximately 2:45 p.m. during the Committee of the Whole meeting. Staff will provide an update on alternative options for short-term rental regulation, licensing and enforcement, and will seek Council direction on the selection of a preferred regulatory option for future implementation.

This Council workshop is not a Public Hearing. It is an opportunity for Council to discuss the alternative options for short-term regulation presented in Phase 2 and receive the engagement summary. Once a preferred regulatory approach is determined, short-term rental bylaws will be drafted. A formal approvals process will follow, with bylaw readings and opportunity for public comment on the bylaw through the Public Hearing process.

Prior to the formal approvals process, you’re invited to continue providing feedback on short-term rental options by leaving a comment using the comment field at the bottom of this page, or by emailing the staff contact, Aja Philp, at aphilp@squamish.ca or 604.815.4966.

View the June 11 Staff Report to the Committee of the Whole

View the Phase 2 Engagement Summary Report

View the Phase 3 Preferred Option Selection Report

View the May 30 Short-term Rental Notice clarifying current short-term rental regulations within the District

 

April 2019 Update:

Phase 2 engagement activities are underway through May 2019 to consult on three alternative regulatory options for short-term rentals in Squamish: 

View the Phase 2 Alternative Options Summary Package.

Phase 2 Community Open House
Thursday, May 2, 2019 │ 4 to 8 p.m.
Squamish Adventure Centre, 38551 Loggers Lane

Drop in and share your perspectives on three alternative options for short-term rental regulation. Your ongoing input is important to determine a preferred approach for future regulation, licensing and enforcement that meets the needs of our community.


Ways to submit your input:

Leave a comment on the Phase 2 Alternative Options using the comment fields at the bottom of this page.


 

January 2019 Update: 

Community engagement results from Phase 1 of the Short-Term Rental Review were presented to Council on Tuesday, January 29 during the Committee of the Whole meeting. Staff will present both the results and insights from the Short-Term Rental community survey conducted in October 2018. 

View the presentation.

Draft alternative regulatory options have been framed for presentation and discussion with Council prior to initiating Phase 2 of the project.

During Phase 2, the District will continue to consult on alternative regulatory options and their implications using a series of stakeholder focus groups as well as a public drop-in session planned for spring 2019. Watch this page for further updates on Short-Term Rental options and materials as part of Phase 2, and details on upcoming public engagement opportunities to participate and share your perspectives on short-term rental regulation in Squamish. 

November 2018 Update:

Thanks to everyone who participated in the short-term rental survey this October. Over 470 responses were received!

We are now entering Stage 2 of the project which will run from November through to the end of January.

District staff are now summarizing and analyzing the results of the survey. Based on a synthesis of the community survey input, community priorities, policy objectives, and a review of best practices and learnings from other local governments experiences, we will formulate options for short-term rental regulation. A document summarizing the survey results, including an outline framing up a number of regulatory options and how they were formulated, will be presented back to community and Council for further engagement in January and February. Opportunities for consultation will include stakeholder focus group sessions as well as community wide pop-ups or open houses.

Stay tuned to this project webpage for upcoming opportunities to continue the STR conversation. 


 

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What are Short-Term Rentals? Are they permitted?

A short-term rental is the use of a dwelling unit, or any portion of it, as a rental unit for a period of less than 30 days and includes vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts (as defined in the District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw 2200, 2011). Currently short-term rentals are permitted in commercial zones as tourist accommodation (Hotels, Hostels, Motels) and on parcels zoned to permit licensed Bed and Breakfasts. For clarity, residential dwellings, Accessory Dwelling Units, Secondary Suites nor Multi-unit Flex Units (within strata-tiled two-unit or townhouse dwellings) are not permitted for use as short-term rentals.

Why regulate Short-Term Rentals?

With a local housing market inextricably connected to Metro Vancouver, Squamish housing costs have continued to rise. Benchmark prices for detached homes have reached $1 million, and have nearly doubled in the last five years; townhomes and apartment prices increased 16% and 32%, respectively, in the last year. A less than one percent rental vacancy rate persists. A growing affordability gap exists in Squamish and can exacerbate issues such as poverty and food insecurity, with particular concern for low- to moderate-income residents and vulnerable populations. These housing challenges are also impacting the community’s ability to provide adequate workforce housing and to attract and retain employees, vital to sustain a vibrant economy.

Considered a basic human right, a range and mix of housing options for residents of all ages, incomes and abilities are urgently needed. A core housing objective is to increase the supply, availability and access to affordable housing across the local housing spectrum/continuum. In 2018 the District adopted policy directing the creation of regulations to address short-term/vacation rentals that reduce the available inventory of rental housing, and to monitor and resource adequate enforcement of unauthorized rentals (Squamish2040 OCP Policy 12.12 f).

Participate in the conversation

The District has launched a community survey and corresponding background information to obtain the community’s perspectives and priorities on this important topic. The survey, open through October 31, 2018, will inform the development of options for discussion with Council and the community.

1. Read the Backgrounder

Read the Short-Term Rental Information Backgrounder to help inform your survey responses.

2. Take the Survey 

The survey closed October 31, 2018.

3. Stay informed

Stay tuned for more information: Sign up for E-News updates here.

 

Staff Contacts

Aja Philp, Planner |  aphilp@squamish.ca | 604.815.4966

Sarah McJannet, Planner| smcjannet@squamish.ca | 604.815.5096

 

Links

Council Documents

Short-Term Rentals Project Launch + Engagement: September 18, 2018 Committee of the Whole Agenda and Meeting Minutes

Short-Term Rentals Monitoring Update: November 7, 2017 Community Development Standing Committee Agenda and Meeting Minutes

 

Affordable Housing

District of Squamish Affordable Housing webpage

Housing Task Force Final Report (2016)

 

Tourism Sector

Squamish Accommodation Snapshot

 

Short-Term Rental Resources

Host Compliance STR Monitoring Company Website

Hotel Association of Canada Article “Developing a Modern Approach to Short-term rentals in a Digital Economy: A Framework for Canadian Regulators”

Province of BC Strata Short-Term Rental Bylaws Resource Page

Airbnb British Columbia Sales Tax and Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) Information