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Penticton council questions short-term rental changes

Council will send a letter asking for exceptions from the provincial government
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A sign indicating Airbnb rentals are not permitted is seen at the entrance to a condo tower, in Vancouver, on Thursday, November 23, 2023. The provincial government last month introduced legislation to limit short-term rentals in many cities in British Columbia in an effort to put thousands of units back into the long-term rental pool, with the changes coming into effect in May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Penticton city council will be sending a letter to the provincial government asking for changes to recent legislation on short-term rentals, specifically for the city.

The motion, proposed by Coun. Helena Konanz called for the city to be considered in a different category like resort communities when it comes to short-term rental regulations.

“Everyone around this table understands the need for more long-term housing in our community, but we must also support our tourism and hotel industry who have had a very difficult last few years,” said Konanz.

The motion came after council earlier approved directing staff to prepare the necessary bylaw changes to bring the city in line with the provincial changes.

Those changes include bylaws restricting short-term rentals to properties where the owner lives, such as with guest suites or carriage houses.

Konanz proposed that the letter from council include alternatives such as limiting short-term rental ownership to one per property owner, or limiting short-term rentals to either specific areas of the city or to specific times such as around Peachfest or Iron Man.

Councillors Isaac Gilbert and James Miller were the sole votes in opposition to Konanz’ motion.

“Yes, we are a community that relies on tourism and we’re a community that welcomes that tourism here,” ” said Gilbert. “We are also a community that needs housing for people to work here and to be here in the city and to be able to supply a workforce, which we have heard time and time again from a lot of businesses that we don’t have enough people that can’t find housing here to be able to work.”

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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