City hall received 135 responses to a survey on how the short term rental regulations are working. See a summary of the results in a chart below the attachment at the end of this story. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson to revise short term rental rules

Changes are based on a recent public survey

When the City of Nelson established its regulations about short term rental licences more than a year ago, it said it would evaluate them in a year. Early in 2018 the city put out a survey as part of that evaluation. City planner Alex Thumm brought the results back to council in a presentation on Monday along with some recommendations for changes.

He told council the survey was answered by 27 short term rental licence holders (about half of the total number registered with the city) and 108 members of the public (91 per cent of whom said they live in Nelson).

Detailed results of the survey appear below as an attachment, and a chart below that attachment summarizes those results.

Sixty-seven per cent of the licence holders said they are satisfied, very satisfied, or indifferent about the current regulations.

In the public survey, 37 per cent said they were generally satisfied or neutral about the regulations, and over 40 per cent said the regulations should be more restrictive.

Thumm said the city currently has 54 annual licenses in place, including 13 guest homes, 17 guest suites, 17 one-guest rooms and seven two-guest rooms, plus seven pending applications and one summer license. He said this amounts to all the short term rentals in Nelson, not just on Airbnb but on other platforms such as VTBO, so he is claiming 100 per cent compliance.

He said those numbers will appear to be at odds with Airbnb’s Nelson numbers on its website, but he explained that is because many of the company’s listings are actually outside the city limits and that many of them are listed on the site but not active.

The survey results shown in the chart below the attachment at the end of this story are based on the city’s three stated goals of the regulations, which are to provide a level playing field between short term renters and between short term renters and hotels (in terms of taxes, fees, licensing, and standards), to provide safe accommodation to tourists, and to meet local housing needs (i.e. to not threaten the supply of long term rentals).

Related stories in the Nelson Star:

• Nelson monitors, enforces short term rental rules (Oct. 2017

• Airbnb to collect provincial sales tax in B.C. (Feb. 2018)

• Nelson gets big response to Airbnb survey and meeting (July 2016)

• Nelson council passes short term rental bylaw (Dec. 2016)

In the survey responses, the most distinct difference between license holders and the general public was in the section on whether the regulations are helping to meet local housing needs. Most members of the public do not think they are helping, while a large number of the license holders think they are. He said some of the respondents from the public want short term rentals banned.

Based on the survey results, Thumm recommended to council that they make a number of changes including:

• Remove the $30 inspection fee

• Remove the $500 deposit requirement

• Lower guest suite licence fee from $800 to $500

• Guest home may not be advertised for more than 182 days per year

• Building official can waive inspection fee if building was recently inspected

• No licence will be issued if there are outstanding fines

• City reserves the right to request booking records directly from Airbnb or other listing platform

Thumm presented these and other changes for discussion only. Council will vote on them in July. See the detailed survey results and recommendations below, and below that a summary chart of the survey results.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Short term rental review by BillMetcalfe on Scribd

 

Just Posted

Grand Forks to receive business recovery funds post-flood

The community will receive two Rural Dividends grants for a total of $655,000.

Road trip comes to end with split for Grand Forks Border Bruins

The team is coming off its longest road trip this season.

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Letter: English town remembers Grand Forks on anniversary of Armistice

Phillip Morris writes from Shrewsbury, England.

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

B.C.’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland’s retrial in father’s murder

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Most Read