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New draft STA bylaws include no future STA licences – with exceptions

With approval of a draft bylaw in June, there will be no future short-term accommodation (STA) licences issued in Prince Edward County – with the exception of people who use their property as primary residences, and for a limited number (three) fully-accessible STAs.

In the draft, all new STAs, would have a “natural person” requirement (refers to humans, not numbered companies and corporations) with primary residence and accessibility exemptions for properties not in R3 or R4 zones. (Zones recently changed to permit smaller homes and ones on smaller lots for a better mix of housing types.)

Owner-Occupied means an STA in a dwelling or dwelling-unit that is located on the same lot as the dwelling or dwelling-unit that the owner or operator has designated as their principal residence on their income tax filing and in other government records.

Amendments presented at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting also seek further discussion on penalties
/fines for failure to post STA license numbers on any advertising, and a stronger system of penalties/fines for non-compliance with bylaws and reduced time to comply, and possibly a tiered fine system.

Final public and stakeholder comment will be sought before the amended bylaws come before council June 21. Staff propose using the municipality’s Have Your Say web page and a public meeting as part of the June 15 planning meeting.

At council’s March 10 meeting, a short-term accommodation study by Dr. David Wachsmuth stated the STA industry here is responsible for a portion of medium-term housing price growth, and is and has grown highly consolidated between a small number of operators.

The top 10 per cent of current STA owners earn 50 per cent of the revenue.

In her report to the committee of the whole, Noah Lister-Stevens, programs advisor, noted that common to the new measures is that they should apply only, or primarily, to future properties. She adds retroactive approaches – policies that apply to existing license-holders as well as future ones – “are likely to be more effective in tackling the industry’s negative effects, however, they would be much more disruptive to the market and present a much greater risk of legal action.”

All STAs with a current license for use of their property as an STA may continue to do so until they decide to no longer operate an STA, in which case, after a period time, they would no longer be legal non-conforming (grandfathered).

A grandfathered property when sold can legally still be used as an STA, however, it must also meet provisions/restrictions in the new STA bylaw, (such as density rules) so the property would not be a direct re-license.

Click here to see the full report. 

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  1. Paul D Cole says:

    I suppose if you throw enough stuff at the wall sooner or later it will stick. County council has been throwing stuff at the STA Licensing wall since the bylaw was implemented in 2019. Hopefully they will get it right soon…

  2. Teena says:

    Isn’t a Time Share still classed as an STA? What, if anything, is our Council doing about this?

  3. Dan says:

    Council is still discussing the particulars of this stuff and GTA realtors are buying and listing local houses as time shares. Mr. Mayor and Council, you need to show leadership on this issue.

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