Some residents say short term rental accommodations are disrupting their neighbourhoods

Oro-Medonte is considering licencing short-term rental accommodations

Public consultation could take place in January about a draft licencing bylaw regulating short term rental accomodations in Oro-Medonte. The Township has been trying to find a way forward after a number of residents have complained about crude language, noise, safety and parking infractions in what they say used to be quiet neighbourhoods.

“There are 26 I know of that are very disruptive rentals that have disturbed neighbours and it has been ongoing for two years. ” said Kim Pressnail, an Oro-Medonte resident. “

Pressnail recently organized a meeting of residents to discuss the problem and develop an action plan. He says they support homeowners who have traditionally rented out all or part of their home or cottage to family and friends on an informal basis, and they don’t take issue with traditional bed and breakfasts where the owner is on-site when guests are present.

What residents say they don’t want are corporate and individual business operators who have purchased homes mainly for the sale of commercial accommodation.

“These hotel-like operations strive to rent to large groups on a daily basis. They provide no on-site supervision of their transient customers.” said Pressnail.

Airbnb said earlier this month the company is banning “party houses” following a shooting at one of its rentals during a Halloween party in California that left five people dead.

Pressnail says people in the township want existing bylaws enforced. The Township says staff are investigating complaints regarding potential contraventions and there is a dedicated email for STR’s.

Licencing short term rentals is not a solution, according to Pressnail.

“Licencing doesn’t work in Town of Blue Mountains. Adjacent land values suffer when you have short term licensed accommodations next to you.”

Pressnail says it has reached a point where condo owners are choosing to ban short term rentals within their own bylaws.

Part of developing a licencing bylaw has been to explore what other municipalities are doing to deal with short term rental accommodations. The township’s interim control bylaw that bans new STR’s expires in June 2020.