The District of Kent will be revealing what its residents thought about short-term rentals, and making some decisions on what those should look like, by the end of the month.
According to district planner Bronwen Verigan, a staff report on short-term rentals will be brought forward to council on Jan. 28. The report will include the results of the district’s public consultation, as well as recommended steps forward.
In May of 2018, a District of Kent resident brought forward concerns about Airbnbs and other short-term vacation rentals, which prompted the district to reevaluate its rules around those kinds of properties.
Currently, leases of less than 28 days are not allowed in any residential zones inside the district. (This does not include bed and breakfast-style places of three rooms or less, where the owner is on site during the rental.)
In Harrison Hot Springs, village staff cracked down on short-term vacation rentals in July of 2017, although council said it was simply upholding the existing bylaw.
The Airbnb website still shows a number of rental properties available in Harrison, but a majority of these are part of hotels or resorts.
What the future of short-term rentals will look like in the District of Kent depends on council’s response to the report on Jan. 28.
Verigan said staff could look into creating a new bylaw if council wanted. From there, the district would engage in a second round of public consultation.