Short Term Rentals

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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

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