I live in the Sechelt area and am concerned about short-term rentals (STRs). Currently both Gibsons and SCRD have developed new rules regarding the STRs in their area. The main change will be that STRs without an owner/resident present will be phased out.
The district of Sechelt hired EcoPlan to do a survey regarding the issue of STRs. A particular concern shown in the survey was STR commercial, which is the current term that Sechelt is using for Air BnB with no resident/owner present. This showed to be a high concern for everyone filling out the survey. Eco Plan’s recommendation to Sechelt council was that there in fact be no STR commercial, as per the wishes of the citizens of Sechelt. Sechelt council then debated about still allowing STRs that could operate without the owner present despite the results of the survey. There was also discussion about temporary use permits for STRs with neighbours’ input and consideration. My question is this – the taxpayers have spoken and the results were no STR commercial. Why did Sechelt council decided not to listen to the taxpayers? After much debate Sechelt council decided to allow “about” 13 STR commercial and sent that along with other recommendations to staff. Staff is to now develop a plan for STRs.
This really opens a can of worms, as who is going to be allowed to be STR commercial when there are three that I know of in my neighbourhood. How are they going to decide which ones stay and which ones go? It would be much easier to have listened to the citizens who filled out the survey and allow none. My hope is that when the draft goes back to council, someone on council will have read the Gibsons report and look at the new one being presented to them and change it to no STR commercial.
Darlene Devries, Sechelt