Would you like to subscribe to our newsletters?

Kelowna asking for public's opinion of proposed changes to short-term rental zoning

FILE PHOTO - Kelowna City Hall
FILE PHOTO - Kelowna City Hall

Kelowna city council is asking for the public’s opinion on proposed changes to the short-term rental zoning bylaw.

The new amendment to the zoning bylaw would remove short-term rental accommodation as a secondary use from all zones.

If the amendment is approved by the council, only 1,200 short-term rental owners with a valid business licence would be permitted to continue operating, according to a city media release. These rentals will be permitted where allowed as a principal use.

The city's zoning changes would be subject to the province's Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act.

During the public hearing next week, legislative changes by the province will not be up for consideration, but residents may express their opinion regarding the removal of short-term rental accommodation as a secondary use.

“We are inviting public comment so that council can understand the impacts of the changes being proposed specific to Kelowna, before coming to a decision,” Ryan Smith, director of planning and development, said in the release.

“At the same time, we know short-term rentals are having a negative impact on housing availability and affordability across the country – and that more regulatory changes are expected from the province as a result.”

According to Smith, city data shows that half of the 2,400 short-term rentals currently listed in Kelowna are operating illegally.

"Kelowna is also experiencing a significant housing deficit and while short-term rentals can supplement the accommodation market and provide homeowners with opportunities for additional income, regulations are needed to reduce the strain on our local housing supply and ensure more long-term rentals are available for our current and future residents to live in," Smith said.

The public hearing at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, will be held both in person in the council chambers at Kelowna city hall and online via Microsoft Teams.

More information can be found on the council meetings and public hearings page here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Georgina Whitehouse or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.