(Phil McLachlan - West K News)

(Phil McLachlan - West K News)

Short-term rentals could be allowed in West Kelowna by the summer

Residents largely happy with city’s proposed regulations, according to survey

A legal process could be in place by the summer allowing short-term rentals in West Kelowna.

Draft regulations for short-term rentals were presented to West Kelowna city council in November. Subsequently, the city engaged both residents and stakeholders to see if the community was happy with the council-endorsed regulations. City staff presented the results of that engagement to council on Tuesday (Jan. 26).

From Nov. 30, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021, the city received 736 responses to an online questionnaire on the topic. City staff also fielded several phone and email inquiries.

According to survey results, residents were supportive of most of the city’s proposed guidelines, including short term rental operators must reside in the home they’re renting, no more than three rooms permitted, and parking-related mandates.

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However, the community was split down the middle on the city’s current proposal to not allow short-term rentals in secondary suites or carriage houses. Council was also divided on the issue.

One thing council did agree on though, is that licensing fees need to cover the city’s costs so that the program doesn’t present a burden to the city’s taxpayers.

Concerned that operators may dodge fines for breaking any rules, which would require costly legal action by the city, Coun. Jason Friesen suggested imposing a sizable deposit.

Bylaw amendments could come before council as soon as next month and the city wants to have applications open before the summer.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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City of West Kelowna