Public Service Announcement
Next Tuesday’s public hearing will start earlier than usual, at 3 p.m., to hear from the public on recommended changes to the Zoning Bylaw aimed at regulating short-term rental accommodation in Kelowna.
While the provincial government has also made recent announcements that may affect short-term rental operation in B.C., the legislative changes by the Province are not under consideration – the public hearing on Nov. 21 will focus only on the proposed changes to the City of Kelowna’s Zoning Bylaw to remove short-term rental accommodation as a permitted secondary use.
“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 & 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.”
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
Any items outside of the City’s jurisdiction, such as future changes expected from the Provincial government’s recently announced Short-term Rental Accommodations Act, will not be considered at the public hearing. This includes: new principal residence requirements; changes to legal non-conforming use protections; the Provincial short-term rental registry; the Provincial compliance and enforcement unit; and increased fines or tickets.
"Our data shows that as many as 50 per cent of the approximately 2400 short-term rentals currently listed in Kelowna are operating illegally," said Smith. "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 will review legislation from the Province of British Columbia regarding the Act and its associated regulations and report back to Council.
To learn more, including how to participate in the public hearing, visit: kelowna.ca/short-term-rentals.