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Public Consultation on Short Term Rental Accommodations

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The City of Sault Ste. Marie will be holding virtual open houses regarding proposed regulations for Short Term Rental (STR) accommodations. STR accommodations are offered through online platforms such as Airbnb, Vrbo and Kijiji.  Hosts may rent entire homes, apartments in homes or rooms in homes to the travelling public on a short term basis.
 
In May 2019, City Council passed a Resolution requesting Planning Staff to review how other communities are regulating STRs and consider potential regulations.
 
“While it is recognized that Short Term Rentals are not a new phenomenon, according to data obtained by the Planning Division, local Short Term Rentals tripled between 2017 and 2020,” said Don McConnell, Director of Planning.
 
“There are a number of impacts associated with STRs. On the positive side, they provide hosts with income generating opportunities. STRs also provide unique, alternative accommodations for tourists, larger groups, and medium term occupants such as hospital patients, locums and short term workers. Potential negative impacts include increased neighbourhood complaints such as noise and safety of units, increase in rent prices, removal of long term rental units from the local supply and commercialization of residential areas.”
 
Sault Ste. Marie’s Planning Division recently provided a report to City Council analysing the local STR accommodation scene and recommending a number of regulations as well as the following proposed regulations, which are in accordance with regulations implemented by other municipalities: 
  1. That STRs be permitted in all zones that permit a residential dwelling.
  2. That STRs be defined as any accommodation that is available for up to 28 days. 
  3. That hotels and bed and breakfasts be exempt.
  4. Where an STR is located in any residential zone, the STR must be the host’s principal dwelling.  This requirement is waived for residential units permitted in Commercial Zones (C1, C2, CT2, C3 and C4) which operate as an STR.
  5. That STRs located in any residential zone cannot be offered or advertised for more than 180 days per calendar year.  This requirement is waived for residential units permitted in Commercial Zones (C1, C2, CT2, C3 and C4) which operate as an STR.
  6. That STR hosts hold a valid license from the City.
  7. That STR hosts pay the 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax. 
The following open houses are for anyone who is interested in learning about or providing input on the proposed STR regulations.
 
Virtual Open House 1
When: Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom
 
Virtual Open House 2
When: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom
 
Virtual Open Houses will commence with a presentation by Planning Staff, followed by Q&A.  Attendees to the Virtual Open House will be required to pre-register with the Planning Division at planning@cityssm.on.ca or 705-759-5368.
 
If you are unable to participate and would like to provide input or have questions regarding the proposed STR regulations, please contact the City of Sault Ste. Marie Planning Division at (705) 759-5368 or planning@cityssm.on.ca.

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