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Numbers nearly double as County updates new public short-term accommodation map

OCT. 8 UPDATE: The numbers have nearly doubled to 816 from 421 as the County has updated the online short-term accommodation (STA) map to include all STAs that are currently allowed to operate.

The map now includes:
STAs that have secured their licence
STAs that have met all of the licensing criteria but must be inspected by the municipality or meet other administrative requirements
STAs that are allowed to operate but are renewing their licences

Prince Edward County has made public an online map showing the location of all licensed short-term accommodations (STAs) in the municipality.

The map displays the addresses and licence numbers of STAs.

“Taking into consideration feedback from STA owners and operators, the map does not include any personal information of licence holders or their business names,” states Mark Kerr, the County’s communications and consultation supervisor, in a media release. “Staff received a legal opinion advising that addresses where STA businesses operate, either exclusively or part-time, are not considered personal information.”

The map is intended to help the public understand where STA businesses operate in their neighbourhood. Using the map, people can confirm whether or not an STA is licensed.

“The municipality anticipates that the map will reduce the number of calls the STA office receives asking if a property owner has a licence,” stated Kerr. “Staff will then have more time to conduct inspections, administrate the licensing program and enforce compliance where businesses are operating without a licence.”

Several municipalities in Ontario make public a map or list of licensed STAs. Before developing the map, County staff reached out to the Town of Huntsville and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

“Both of these jurisdictions indicated there have been no reported threats, harassment, or incidences of violence toward STA licence holders as a result of publishing the map or list.”

Click here to view the map. For more information, contact the County of Prince Edward at 613.476.2148 extension 1023, 613.962.9108 extension 1023, or info@pecounty.on.ca

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  1. Teena says:

    If the “so-called” Toronto people (and others) cannot use these properties for income to defray the cost of a mortgage, then it is unlikely they would pay over the odds for one. Which may just leave them as full on rental properties, or drop the pricing so someone who actually wants to live here full time who can use the houses as they are meant to be used.

  2. Dave says:

    Eliminating STAs will not do anything to solve the affordable housing crisis. Those houses will be then sold to Toronto people for top dollar.

    The solution is to create more housing supply. One possible solution is housing co-ops. The county could donate some land and then anyone interested could pool their money and hire a builder for the entire subdivision.

    Also the issue of rural subdivisions will keep coming back over and over. Why not allow subdivisions along hwy 33 from picton to carrying place where there is a water supply already? Or on Rednersville road?

  3. Fred says:

    One can’t assume that if STAs were banished that those units would be affordable for those in need of housing.That is a fallacy.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    Many have made great comments and I think there is common agreement that there is a problem with the number of STAs, when compared to our population. What issue continues to get involved in this conversation is that of “affordable housing” and how the County is not responding to this issue. Personally, I believe they are two separate issues – can anyone tell me how many people in PEC would qualify for affordable housing – in other words how serious is this problem? Secondly, what dollar amount for a home would be classified as being “affordable?” Thirdly, recognizing that our municipality cannot afford to build such homes – where will the money come from? And last, but not least – has our Council requested financial assistance for the province and the feds to build such homes? If so, then what is the response?

  5. Teena says:

    816 STA’s in The County. If the ones located within all town limits we’re to change to long term rentals, it could alleviate the housing crises, hmmm?

  6. Dave says:

    The situation in PEC is a perfect storm for affordable housing and the biggest contributor is the retirees coming out to the country. See this debate on TVO:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bg7DC7n-eU

    There are some solutions to the supply problem but the new county plan which blocks rural developments and only allows 1 lot to be severed will also be a major contributor.

    The County is going to have to get active to solve the supply problem instead of waiting for developers to address it. The county has not put forth any serious attempts to solve the issue.

  7. Dan says:

    Affordable housing is a province wide problem. In fact house prices rose higher in Tweed than PEC in 2020. Several issues affect rental units, supply and demand.
    More young renters looking, because they have been priced out of buyers market for now. Rental market has become competitive.
    Toronto and surrounding area, now have bidding wars on rentals.

  8. Mike Rodgers says:

    ayar makes some good points. Also if the bylaw says that street ABC allows for 3 STAs and there are 4 because number 4 was there before the bylaw, if any of the 4 are sold it can not be sold as a STA because now street ABC has its allowed maximin

  9. Emily says:

    STAs have hurt the community greatly. They have devoured up former rental units and significantly aided in skyrocketing house prices as more non residents buy homes to make big vacation rent dollars. It was an open opportunity to make big dollars, I get it. But it is pretty rich to say they have helped our community. The young are leaving in droves to find a more affordable existence.

  10. Chuck says:

    It is an STA duscussion because they impact the availability of affordable housing.

  11. Dennis Fox says:

    STAs were never a solution for affordable housing – it was only those in support of STAs that made that claim. It is good to hear about one rental owner who is also a permanent resident in the home – the fact is most are not. For a community of only 24K, having 816+ (and growing) STA rental units to accommodate tourists is ridiculous.

  12. Stephanie says:

    It’s pretty frustrating to read many of these comments. STAs can add incredible value, LICENSED STAs DO care about the community or at least the large majority but that’s like any business or industry there will always be a couple bad seeds. Affordable housing is not public business owners place to step in and personally offer it. THE COUNTY needs to apply for many public grants I see offered frequently and work with the gov to solve affordable housing. Start complaining to them instead of private local business owners. I put my heart and soul into my STA, it is also my primary residence and when it’s rented I rent locally myself. I buy farm fresh eggs for guests from local farm stands, support local business in my home & welcome packs, etc. Stop complaining and lobby for the GOVERNMENT & Council to take action on “affordable housing projects” it’s not an STA conversation.

  13. Fred says:

    Well I cannot agree as STAs impact the lives of many. One big purpose of the map is so residents know if a business is operating around them and if it is not showing on the map they can report an illegal operation.

  14. J says:

    Gee I wonder why it’s next to impossible to find affordable long term rentals these days.

  15. Shae says:

    What is it county council is trying to prove with the map?? Guaranteed it won’t be real time. Air b n bs come and go, create jobs, give nicenplaces for tourists to stay and spend and enjoy. It’s not taking away from seniors living here and enjoying the place also as rhats still a huge demographic. Live and let live, government get outta our bedrooms!!

  16. James J says:

    Well we have ourselves a real problem.
    30 years ago we wanted our county to be a place for retirement no industry. Well that is what we got, and now it is overwhelming everywhere you look from an extraordinary amount of STA s to an overwhelming amount of very expensive housing/condo projects to complaints about parking and noise that threaten to close businesses.
    When is it going to stop council needs to put proper and needed infrastructure in b4 we expansion is approved and stand up to developers both local and otherwise

    THEY ARE RUINING OYR COUNTY

  17. Barbara says:

    Many communities have outlawed STA’S, what exactly do sta’s offer to the community?

    Especially STA owners that don’t live within our community, aside from cleaning services hired, utilities, taxes, and application fees paid, STA’S don’t really offer a lot back to the community.

    STA’s in these numbers for such a small area absolutely diminishes the community connections The County was once well known for.

    STA’s are places where tourists stay, and while it’s nice for the economy to have a boost in summer months, we’re still left near desolate throughout the off season. These homes sit largely empty, or are rented for the off season only , displacing residents who choose to take whenever they can get and hope they’ll find something in time for the busy season and their inevitable eviction.

    We continue to approve new STA applications while long time residents struggle to survive in their hometowns BC transplants and tourists are driving up the price of nearly everything.

    When local’s can’t go to the local orchard to purchase produce BC it’s marked up so high they’re forced to use a grocery store that imports, we’re no longer supporting our community, and neither are many STA owners.

    STA’s can be banned, they have been already in some communities.

    The application process should have a cap. And it should have been about 400 STA’s ago.

    That PEC is still approving applications is irresponsible at best, detrimental to our community at worst.

  18. David says:

    I know there’s more than that on my street in Wellington

  19. SM says:

    Lets be very clear. The problem was created by a large number of individuals who saw the opportunity to buy up County homes (at then reasonable prices) and convert them into rental properties. There was no regulatory scheme in place when this occurred and no way to know this was happening until after the fact. The County acted to establish some form of control. They did not have the power to legislate retroactively and even if they did, how do you decide which STA to close down and which to allow to operate. Like many other things, enforcement is complaint driven. Of course the County could hire a crew of investigators to ‘go out there and find’ those unregistered STA’s. Of course expect to have your taxes increase in order to pay the salaries of that crew.

  20. JennyD says:

    I think the real issue is trying to establish a maximum amount – there needs to be a ceiling. If there are no limits on the number of STA’s operating, then it’s really just a free for all. And let’s be honest, this is the number of licenced STAs. There are many operating illegally.

  21. Dee says:

    John – Back when this first began (STAs), at a public meeting the municipality indicated that they would monitor the number of STAs in a location and limit them to ensure there is not an overabundance of STAs in one location…obviously this somehow got lost in the process….how many households are there in PEC? Just guessing but with an estimated population of 24,000 with an average of 3 persons per household that would indicate 8000 households, meaning that STAs account for just over 10% of the households in PEC…I think we have reached our limit. Huntsville has a population of about 19,000 and has 125 StAs listed-
    Niagara on the Lake has been known as a ghost town for over two decades – no one local lives in the town – can’t afford to live there – no grocery store or local everyday stores for residents. Now I hear there is not even one local person sitting on Council – we were warned more than 20 years ago that we could end up like NOTL – a shell of a community and yet here we are- comparing our data with NOTL. As of Oct 2021 they show 280 STAs licensed in population of 17,500 (B&Bs and Cottages)We should see data comparing apples to apples…where is that? Enough – put a stop to any more applications.

  22. Barb says:

    Well, now we know why we have no county residents or workers left. Everyone has been welcomed to The County. It’s a quiet and peaceful place to be they said. First, it was encouraged for seniors to come and retire here. Then the STAs started. Then the pandemic hit and everyone ran from the hot zones. Now The County has gotten too big and too expensive to live. Who’s left to take care of the seniors, and your STAs?? Every business is crying for workers but, there is no place left for them to live or afford. When will people find answers for this question instead of making more STAs? I’m a County Resident that has to work 2 full time jobs to make ends meat. Thanks so much town council

  23. Mark says:

    It is definitely complaint driven. My answer to an obviuos STA property was to file a complaint. Otherwise it lives with no questions.

  24. Dennis Fox says:

    Let’s be very clear – the municipality created this problem by issuing too many permits and now the only way they know how to control it (maybe) is by having the public complain about them – after the fact. Yup, makes perfect sense – to who?

  25. Dave Thomas says:

    Where is the logic in a complaint-driven process for illegal STA reporting? The only reason I can think of is that the county knows there are so many of them that it can’t possibly address them all with the available resources. This in of itself is worrisome.

  26. Dee says:

    We can always criticize what the County is doing, but hte map is up with the approved STAs. If others are coming on it will be updated. Two days ago there were 421 and this morning 422.

    If there is an unregistered STA it should be reported to County. The name of the complainant should be kept anonymous, but registered with the County. It is not fair to those who follow the rules, to have illegal STAs operating and putting additional pressure on already sensitive water sources in rural areas. Whole home STA’s – no different than a tourist resort which has to be zoned commercial.

    Let the public know there is a finite opportunity for STAs and then our neighbourhoods will not be totally eaten up . Other municipalities have done it, time we have done the same. Areas where water source is sensitive – NO STAs – a week or weekend of 10 people on a well on the same aquifer as three other local homes, not practicing conservation like their neighbours – has disastrous results for the residents.

  27. John says:

    There should be a limit of the amount of STA’s allowed on any given street as a percentage of the amount of properties on the street. No non STA resident should be burdened with a STA on both sides of their property, and where there is one, then there should not be another directly across the street, as this deprives the neighborhood of neighbors. No 2 STA’s should be allowed side by side. Finally the county should set a limit on the number of STA’s allowed on any given street based on the above. Current STA licencees and prospective grandfathered STA’s should be allowed to hold their licences until a pre-determined date, example Dec,31,2022, after which all licences would expire and have to be re-applied for. In cases where the quantity of applications exceeded the percentage allowed for the street they would be decided by a draw.

  28. Gary says:

    Every illegal STA should be reported without a second thought. They are robbing our tax system costing all of us.The County is now in a dire position. We cannot afford to repair our infrastructure, our water systems and rates are unsustainable. I think a lot of smarter home owners will sell at this ridiculous premium and move to a more affordable area and rid themselves of the tourist over crowding to boot.

  29. Fred says:

    STA’s suck the life out of a community. Owners looking for big $$$ with no regard to the impacts. It lasts a little while then with rising taxes, housing costs, unsustainable water rates you see a dried up region where no one wants to live or can afford to live.

  30. Michelle says:

    No, it was an illegal STA but no action could be taken without filing a complaint. And yes they should all be taxed at the Commercial rate.

  31. Dan says:

    There lies the confusion, you may be calling Shire hall on a legal STA , still waiting for a license. If application was submitted prior to deadline, and grandfather status, then they are allowed to operate.

  32. ayar says:

    Some suggestions for Council:
    1. Stop grandfathering the licences. This wouldn’t affect the ability of a new owner to get a licence if they qualify and run an STA but it would eliminate the unfair dual valuation of properties that have an STA licence compared with a neighbour who doesn’t.
    2. Put an upper limit on the number of licences issued. Maybe cap it at 5% of the residential properties in The County, which would allow around 650 to 700 STA’s
    3.Tax whole home STA’s as commercial. That is exactly what they are.

  33. Michelle says:

    I emailed a County STA Bylaw Official in regards to 2 obvious STAs on our Picton street and provided addresses. My inquiry was whether they are licenced. A couple of days later I was advised one was licenced and one was not. I was asked if I would like to file a complaint as the process is complaint driven. Even though they are now aware one is operating illegaly. I am not comfortable that we have to file a complaint for this process to be effective. The County knows the address, they should follow up with that owner to confirm. Just saying”

  34. Jon says:

    If there are STAs in your area that aren’t on the map call the county office. There are at least 500 illegal rentals out there. The people trying to do it legally have to pay a lot of money and jump through hoops to keep their license while the illegal rentals just do whatever they want, have as many guests as they want. It’s time to start calling them out. It’s easy to search Airbnb and find many that aren’t on the map but unfortunately the county isn’t making the house calls. It’s up to the public. As far as I know if they aren’t on the map they aren’t licensed. Maybe they say they are, maybe they were and lost it by not paying on time, who knows. If you want less rentals, call on the illegal ones.

  35. Dan says:

    Enforcement and restrictions on Sta’s is needed, agreed. There is a moratorium dating back mid 2020, prohibiting any future whole home Sta’s. But encouraging neighbor to call on neighbor
    is concerning and more recently is becoming a form of currency in PEC.

  36. Dennis Fox says:

    If this map doesn’t tell you that our community is no longer ours, then nothing will. I seriously don’t mind having a tourist trade or sharing with other people – but we get NOTHING in return. It has only been recently where our council finally clued in to trying to retrieve tourist dollars on behalf of the community. I am surrounded by STAs and our area is losing families. Meaning our schools will not be open for long at this rate.

    On a day to day level – is there a limit to the number of STAs the County will allow?, Is there a limit to the number in a neighbourhood? Is there a minimum distance between STAs that needs to be applied? Plus, can someone tell us why these units have been allowed and how the community benefits by them? After all, mist of these STAs are owned by absentee landlords who really don’t care about our neighbourhoods.

  37. techtpp says:

    According to Air Dna, the vacation rental website. There are 1048 short term accommodations on PEC with 90% as whole home rentals. The county has a long way to go. Why no employ someone to identify those not already applied for a license using this website. Would not be difficult to do.

  38. Chuck says:

    Well that is the intent of this mapping. The control of unlicenced illegal STAs is complaint driven. This is a good start and long overdue..

  39. SS says:

    I’ll be interested to see how frequently this gets updated.

  40. Monica says:

    Dan is absolutely correct. One on my street doesn’t show. There are way too many of these annoyances!

  41. Nigel J Sivel says:

    Not all STA’s are listed it seems. The one across the road on Consecon
    Street in Wellington at 78 is does not appear and it has been an STA for years.

  42. Dan says:

    Why release the map now? There are 500 plus applications still to process. Therefore map is not complete, will certainly create public confusion. Some are grandfathered in, and still waiting for a license. Incomplete map encourages neighbor to call on neighbor, if suspected unlicensed operation. Which explains releasing map 50% complete. So without suggesting, County staff will use public tips to track down unlicensed STA’s.
    This council resumes its aggressive efforts regarding STA’s.
    And continues to fuel division, rather then inclusion.

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