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Letters: Urgency required in addressing STRs



I live in Davis Bay, fortunate enough to own my own home, together with my partner. There are many who are not so fortunate, nor are they able to find affordable rental accommodation. It is very frustrating to see so many homes in our neighborhood that sit empty for most of the year!

It is well known that most of these are short term rentals (STRs). We personally know homeowners who have been driven to sell and relocate because of party homes beside them, and others who stoically try to deal with sleepless nights and belligerent renters. It is the destruction of neighborhood as we know it.

A recent report on CTV reveals that investors are playing a big role in home prices rising, with many houses going to existing home owners. The unbelievable prices for homes is “predicted to cause instability in the economy.” Staff shortages here on the Coast are directly related to the “housing situation.”
This “situation” prevents young people and essential workers from being able to buy a home or even to find affordable rental. This can result in our sons and daughters moving off Coast or not able to return to be with family.

Council talks of new STR regulations, if we are lucky, in 2023! Apparently, the rules have not changed since 2005. Eco Plan Consulting suggests a cap of 10 commercial units. Seigers wants 50 to 100! How does this help community? The revenue stream will most likely go to the already wealthy. There is a housing crisis and Sechelt has already been termed “permissive” regarding STRs. 

When will council actually address this situation effectively and quickly? Why pay a high-priced consultant and then not listen to them?

Laurie Rolland, Davis Bay