Wainfleet temporarily freezes new short-term rentals

Wainfleet politicians have imposed a temporary freeze on all new short-term home rentals in the township while work continues to put in place a system to regulate and license rentals which some residents say are a source of constant noise and disturbance by partying out of- townspeople.

Wainfleet Mayor Kevin Gibson wants residents tired of wild parties and loss of privacy to know the township is steadily setting up a vetting system while navigating the legal complexities surrounding the issue .

Lindsay Earl, Manager of Community and Developmental Services, presented a new report to council on June 21 with various options such as maintaining the status quo and moving away from regulating short-term rentals, banning rentals at short-term rentals in Wainfleet, except for existing rentals, the use of zoning by-law or official plan amendments to determine where new short-term rentals could be established, or mandating the issuance of rental permits with a demerit point system for rentals that do not comply with noise, parking and safety rules.

She is expected to report future reports to council as work continues on finalizing a bylaw to regulate such rentals through licensing, but Earl said there was still work to be done before anything was done. either not finalized.

Earl said one thing is clear: the number of short-term rentals in Wainfleet will only continue to rise, depending on how many estate agents advertise homes for sale as having short-term rental potential.

Chief Administrative Officer William Kolasa said it was an “extremely complex situation” trying to finalize a regulatory system for rentals in a township without major planning or licensing departments, and without causing trouble. undue collateral damage to hundreds of short-term rentals that cause no problems with neighbors.

Gibson said the problem with short-term rentals is impacting cities and towns across Ontario, and said the problem has peaked in the past two or three years.

“There are legalities at either end of the issue,” he said. ” We are doing our best ; we’re hoping to have it in place not too far down the road and be able to take care of the trouble spots and not impact those running a really good business.

Com. Sherri Van Vliet told residents of Wainfleet that it may seem like there is inertia at City Hall on the issue of rental licenses. “To the public, it doesn’t look like we’re doing much,” she said.

Gibson urged residents to be patient and noted the council has already taken action such as June 7 passing a new noise bylaw that councilors hope will be better able to control disruptive behavior from strangers who rent houses on a short-term basis. through platforms like Airbnb.

A few days earlier, they heard from a Harbourview Road resident who described having to endure loud parties and celebrations that could involve large numbers of people 16 hours a day in short-term rentals.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Gibson said of the noise regulations. “We are hearing the complaints of those affected and we are working on it.”

Com. Terry Gilmore said the problems are caused by a small minority of rental units, and he fears the vast majority of responsible rental landlords will be “caught in the crossfire” paying the administrative costs associated with a licensing system.

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