During the summer of 2016 the City of Nelson engaged in a four-month project to revisit the way we handle short-term rentals (STRs). The project included consultation, education, and new regulations effective January 2017. The issues are
- ensuring a level playing field for accommodators,
- safe accommodation facilities for visitors and tourists, and
- that we are meeting the housing needs of local long-term renters.
Benefits of regulating STRs include ensuring a fair, level playing field and retaining the ability to protect the integrity of residential neighbourhoods by imposing certain restrictions. The regulations establish a robust and transparent licensing mechanism, while still retaining discretion for exceptional circumstances. Communities around the world are grappling with the complexities of accommodating short-term rentals (which are a commercial use) in residential areas. City Council has made it a priority to accommodate these operations for the benefit of visitors, residents, and neighbourhoods, while at the same time mitigating the potential detrimental impacts on communities.
Proposals for new short-term rental regulations were made to City Council on August 8, 2016, with bylaws approved by Council on December 5, 2016. They were revised in September 2018.