Collingwood council is coming knocking.
A long-awaited report on short-term rentals in Collingwood will be coming before the strategic initiatives standing committee on Monday.
Based on public consultation and staff review of options for short-term accommodations, the staff report that will be considered by councillors includes a recommendation to create a licensing system which will allow short-term rentals only in someone’s principal residence, or in an accessory unit where the owner lives in the principal residence.
The committee and then council will be considering all options and will vote before any changes are made to existing bylaws.
“Based on all feedback received, there is support for permitting STAs (beyond bed-and-breakfast establishments, which are already permitted) and a shared understanding respecting the need for a balanced and fair approach to regulation to facilitate improved management and enforcement of STA concerns,” notes Sara Almas, town clerk, in her report to councillors.
Currently, as a rule, most short-term accommodations outside of hotels and motels are prohibited in Collingwood by the town's zoning bylaw. Bed and breakfast units are allowed for short-term rental only if the owner or proprietor also lives in the same building where the units are being rented.
Despite this rule, staff identified about 300 active short-term rental units in Collingwood in February 2022 listed on popular online rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and booking.com.
A short-term rental refers to a unit rented for fewer than 31 days.
The full list of short-term accommodation approaches that will be considered by councillors include:
- Permit B&Bs only (i.e., maintain existing regulations)
- Permit in principal residences (includes B&Bs) (staff recommended)
- Permit in an accessory unit (a) Where the principal residence is occupied by the property owner (staff recommended) or (b) Where the principal residence is occupied by a long-term tenant
- Permit all STAs
- Prohibit all STAs (including B&Bs)
- Licensing bylaw (staff recommended)
- Registration bylaw
- Enhanced enforcement
Staff are also suggesting that council direct staff to prepare a follow-up report on the issue no later than May 2023 which would include potential next steps, draft bylaws and framework governing short-term accommodations in Collingwood.
The strategic initiatives standing committee meeting will be taking place Monday, Feb. 6 starting at 5 p.m. Any members of the public may attend in person in council chambers at Collingwood town hall, or virtually by Zoom webinar. The meeting will also be livestreamed on the town’s YouTube channel here.
With files from Erika Engel.