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CSRD board decides to take a wait and see approach to new provincial short-term rental legislation

CSRD waits on rental rules

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has announced it will take a wait and see approach to short-term rentals in a statement posted on their website last week.

New provincial legislation regarding short term rentals will come into effect in May. The regional district said current short-term rental owners should speak to planning staff about zoning.

“The CSRD is encouraging owners of short-term rentals to contact planning staff to review the zoning regulations and confirm if a short-term rental (STR) is permitted on the property,” said the statement, posted on March 27.

“If not, the CSRD can outline possible options for property owners.”

The provincial government also has plans to introduce a short-term rental registry by the end of 2024.

Gerald Christie, general manager of development services, said residents are asking about the registry but details are not yet available.

“The provincial STR registry, we have no idea what the procedure for someone to get on the registry is going to be,” Christie said.

“How do they apply? What’s required? …We’ve been hearing a lot of questions, as I’m sure some of the area directors are as well, with regards to the implementation of this legislation.

“People are wanting answers to these kinds of questions, but to put it succinctly, we don’t have the information yet."

The CSRD board has also decided not to opt in to new principal residence requirements, however they could decide to opt in at a future date.

“Starting May 1, 2024, the province will implement a principal residence requirement that limits short-term rentals to the host’s principal residence plus one secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit,” the statement said.

“Currently, all electoral areas are exempt from this requirement, however local governments, including the CSRD, can request to opt-in.”

The statement said the issue will be discussed by the board of directors again in the fall, when it expects further information about the legislation will be available.

One of the ways the CSRD can approve short-term rentals in the mean time will be through temporary use permits. However, as Electoral Areas C and G do not currently allow these types of permits, a new bylaw amendment will need to be drafted.

“The CSRD’s South Shuswap Official Community Plan does not currently allow temporary use permits for that area,” the statement said. “The board has now directed staff to prepare a bylaw amendment, which will provide an option for temporary use permits for Electoral Areas C and G.”

The CSRD has created a short-term rental webpage which will be updated as more information about the new legislation becomes available.

CSRD residents with questions about bylaws or applications can contact the planning department at [email protected] or 250-832-8194.

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