Regulations for short term rentals

IROQUOIS – February 16th South Dundas council welcomed the public to comment on a number of zoning bylaw amendments in the works, including a new by- law governing short term rentals.

Short term rentals, once the bylaw is enacted are defined as dwelling units, that in whole or in part, are rented or available with the intention of financial compensation for an occupancy period of 30 consecutive days or less, by way of a municipal licence, but does not include a hotel, motel, boarding house, tourist lodging establishment or bed and breakfast establishment.

What that definition is referring to is homes or areas within homes that are rented out through AirBnB or other accommodations sites.

The municipal planning consultant, along with defining the accommodations, also recommended that short term rentals be licenced appropriately with the Municipality of South Dundas.

Publicly voicing his objections to short term rentals in South Dundas, area resident Tim Cassell said that his objections are based on concern for the safety of children and the well being of the community. He asked council to consider implementing Toronto’s short term rental bylaw rather than creating their own.

He expressed his displeasure with activities at the AirBnB located near his home, recounting negative interactions that he had with guests there. “These people are outsiders,” said Cassell. “If they are not going to behave, they shouldn’t be allowed in our community.”

Those members of the public participating in the meeting and speaking in favour of the new short term rental bylaw included Ky-Lee Hanson, one of the owners of the Oneida Grand, saying that one of the next steps in their project will include short term rentals. “I am in favour of short term rentals and hope the licencing process is acceptable to people and encourages small business,” she said.

Sheri Byvelds agreed saying that she hoped council will accept the planner’s recommendations.

Tiffany Tardiff also spoke in favour of AirBnBs, adding that as a cleaner of the Iroquois Golf Club Road AirBnB property it provides income to people in the community.

Ann Nguyen is part of one of three couples who purchased the former Iroquois Golf Clubhouse as a vacation home that they rent out when they are not using it. “In 2020 we had a great relationship with all of our neighbours with the exception of one,” she said. She added that the idea that their house is a party house is a misconception. She spoke about all of the measures that are in place to help screen out potential bad guests.

“We respect the community and do not want to cause any nuisance,” she said.

She was supportive of the by- law and licencing that the municipality is working to put in place.

Another part owner of the building, Clarissa Williams said that she is excited to be part of the community fostering economic growth.

“I’m excited that people are wanting to invest in South Dundas,” said deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner.

“I’m not against Airbnbs if they are run properly,” said South Dundas councillor Lloyd Wells.

“The bylaw is a starting point,” said South Dundas councillor Donald Lewis.

“This is an opportunity to bring tourism,” said South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan.

Referring to complaints about party houses Mellan said that people need to keep in mind what South Dundas’ jurisdiction is and what are police matters.

“I’ve heard the positive feedback. It’s a great opportunity,” concluded Mellan.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds said that approval of this zoning bylaw, which took place at the February 22nd council meet- ing is the first step and that more specific regulations will be handled through the licencing process that the municipality plans to implement.

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