Blue Mountain Short Term Rental Accommodations

Guest Post by Chris McCormick

Last week, Marg and I attended an information session on The Blue Mountains’ Short Term Accommodation By-law, presented by the town’s Director of Planning, David Finbow.  Marg has written about this bylaw before on the blog so as an update only, we felt we’d like to share the following items of interest:

•    although this seems like a fairly recent bylaw, in fact it’s origins can be traced back into the 1990s, and it was borne of a litany of complaints from residents who were affected by noise, nuisance, security issues, safety issues, parking, buffering, incompatible uses of a property to its neighbours, garbage issues.
•    the important date to remember is FEBRUARY 4, 2008 – it’s the date before which ‘grandfathering’ may be a consideration;
•    another key term to remember is continuous use.  Owners who can prove that a property was continually used for the purposes of short term rental prior to February 4, 2008 to now, may be eligible for consideration of certain exemptions under the new by-law.
•    proving that a property had previously been used for Short Term Accommodation uses prior to Feb. 4, 2008, could be an arduous task, and, you can always seek professional legal help, if you’re unsure
•    gathering as much information about a property’s previous rental history such as rental agreements, income tax information, receipts or booking information and a previous owner’s affidavit or statutory declaration regarding the properties continuous use for short term accommodation uses may help, but it’s a case by case situation
•    Short term (less than 30 days) accommodation uses (STA for short) are NOT permitted in any traditionally single-family-dwelling neighbourhoods, zoned R1, R2 and R3
•    David reminded us that even if the property is in a zone that permits STA uses, there are regulations regarding parking, buffering zones, site plan control, water and sewer as well; and in certain instances the fire code may necessitate upgrades
•    consequences can include hefty fines if an owner is found to be in violation of the bylaw – typically $500 – $2000, but more importantly it is the town’s goal to get improper uses stopped.  He noted that if it is a corporation doing the violating, that the fines can be $100,000!
•    When asked about family usage of a property for short term uses in an inappropriate zone, David said that if there was no exchange of money for the short term ‘rental’ — then there is no Short Term Accommodation use -hence not in violation of the by-law (ie you used your uncle’s cottage at Blue for 20 days in the winter)

HAVE YOUR SAY re Licensing:  it’s coming.  The following is found on the Town’s Website – they are seeking consultation from the public: In accordance with Council’s direction that Town staff consult with the public and stakeholders in advance of a Public Meeting on the matter of a Draft Short Term Accommodation Licencing By-law, the Town has established a dedicated webpage for the purposes of information and to solicit comments. The Town welcomes your comments on the proposed Draft Licencing By-law. Please visit

The Town’s website now has a dedicated section to this important bylaw.

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About Marg

is an award-winning real estate Broker who has successfully been helping people move since 1989. When it’s time for a move in or out of a bigger, smaller, better, more expensive, less expensive, newer, older, house, condo, farm, investment property, vacant lot or business, talk to Marg.

This entry was posted by Marg on Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 5:32 am and is filed under Blue Mountains, Buying Real Estate, Investment Property, Local News and Current Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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