The City of Kelowna decided Tuesday night it would not alter the short-term rental bylaw to include secondary suites and carriage houses and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce said it supports the “difficult decision” council had to make.
Council was divided on the issue, but the motion was defeated with a 4-3 vote, with Mayor Colin Basran and councillors Luke Stack, Gail Given and Mohini Singh in opposition.
“While we support a sharing economy and a vibrant tourist market in Kelowna, we strongly support the ability of permanent residents to access an affordable housing market,” chamber president Nikki Csek said. “And that is greatly enhanced when there are more long-term rental units on the market.”
After hearing from more than a dozen residents during Tuesday’s public hearing, Basran said things are OK as is, “for now.”
Basran said it would be best if council continued to implement its Healthy Housing Strategy rather than potentially impacting the long-term rental market.
“I believe what we have in place is adequate for the time being,” Basran said. “I don’t believe opening it up even further is going to help the situation.”
The chamber said it commends the fact councillors saw potential “pitfalls of the proposed amendment,” Csek said.
“We also appreciate that the permanent providers of year-round overnight accommodation, such as the hoteliers, can continue their staffing and financial plans already in place without market disruption.”
“We look forward to the review of the bylaw in the fall of 2020 in order to measure the effects on the city,” Csek said.
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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