Osoyoos neighbourhood angry about potential Airbnb

Airbnb 'nightmare'

Residents of a small neighbourhood on the East side of Osoyoos Lake are not at all happy with one home's decision to apply for a temporary use permit for Airbnb usage. 

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen will be considering at its board meeting Thursday whether to grant the permit for 3829 37th Street, a four-bedroom property on a dead-end road above Walnut Beach Resort in district Area A. 

The staff recommendation is to allow the permit, but well over a dozen vehement letters expressing displeasure with the proposal were sent by neighbours. 

Property owners Richard and Maria Law, named in the RDOS public meeting agenda documents, are alleged by neighbours to have moved away from the property in recent years. Multiple letters describe the summer of 2019 as a "nightmare" of constant noise and disruption as a result of those renters. 

"Groups of people show up for several days, are generally loud, often behave unpleasantly and have little, if any, concern or respect for the neighbours and neighbourhood in which they are temporarily residing," wrote neighbours David Ryan and Donna White.

"While there are several Airbnbs that are operated in the area, their effect on the neighbourhood is minimized because the owners live on the property ... as such, they are stewards of the property and are responsible for the behaviours that occur on their property."

Other letters were more blunt, calling the situation a "nightmare."

"We do not want to hear drunks yelling from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. in the morning. People coming and going all times of the day and night. People yelling, swearing," wrote Ron Tayfel. "I can never regain the summer I lost last year, thanks to all of you [on the RDOS board] and the wonderful Airbnb next door." 

"We are not against rentals but we don't appreciate a homeowner in our neighbourhood turning his house into a Motel," wrote Christina and Warren Moser. "This would set a precedent for anyone who can't sell their house to turn it into a cash cow at the neighbours' expense."

Written backlash aside, staff has recommended the RDOS board approve the permit which would expire Dec. 31 2020.

The board will discuss the recommendation and make a decision Thursday. 

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