Council seeks community-based solution for Short Term Rentals

May 16 2019

Bowen Island Municipality is undertaking a community consultation process to develop a policy for regulating Short Term Rentals (STRs), accommodation units that are rented for a period of less than 30 days.

The use of properties as STRs has risen in popularity due to the advent of online vacation booking platforms, which have made STRs increasingly viable for both operators and guests. While STRs may provide valuable revenue and benefit the local tourism economy, they may also impact neighbourhood character and long-term housing availability or affordability.

There are many approaches that Council may consider for regulating STRs that range from more permissive to more restrictive. Residents, businesses and visitors are encouraged to participate in the public engagement process, which includes a public survey, a public information session and a stakeholder workshop. The overall goal of the project is to develop a policy that regulates STRs in a reasonable manner that addresses the needs and concerns of the Bowen Island community.

Many municipalities in British Columbia have recently adopted, or are in the process of developing, policies to regulate STRs. Developing a policy for STRs, based on comprehensive public consultation, is one of the ways Council is fulfilling Island Plan 2019’s strategic commitment to Responsibility - accountability to citizens, businesses, and the natural environment through effective, efficient and timely municipal planning, operations, policies and bylaws.

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