Good evening Councillors and His Worship, My name is Lynda Montgomery and I thank you for allowing us to speak to this issue that is obviously of concern to a large number of our residents. I want to thank all of them as well for attending and showing their support.

Although this issue may SEEM to have come upon us quickly, in fact Council had already identified this as a concern months ago. The development of licensing and regulating policies and collecting appropriate Municipal Accommodation Taxes were already noted Areas of Action.

And for us, living in neighbourhoods where these Short Term Rentals have popped up, it didn’t take long to realize how disruptive they are to a peaceful neighbourhood where families raise their children, sleep (no matter what shift you work) and enjoy their own outdoor space.

The invasion of constantly rotating groups of vacationers who have no respect or engagement with the neighbourhood Changes our Lives. Some advertise having the opportunity to host Special Events for up to 25 people.

While out collecting petition signatures, there were many comments from my neighbours. A few of them were: We now lock our doors and windows. I can’t sleep when I need to…even after surgery! Neighbours quite distant from the Airbnb were affected by the noise levels.

I am outlining what is already being experienced in my neighbourhood but I want to assure you that everyone, Councillors and Residents alike, are vulnerable to a new STR setting up overnight and changing your enjoyment of the home you love. Your neighbour may not have a pool, but they will certainly have OUTDOOR eating and entertaining spaces, perhaps a fire pit, hot tubs are easy to drop in and dogs barking because they are unfamiliar with the neighbourhood…. And you will never get a  chance to develop a relationship with them (as you would if they actuallyived there) because they “turn over” every 3 - 7 days.

So, I am talking about the new phenomena of the “Out of Town”, “Multiple Properties Host”, “Have the Entire House to Yourself” “In a Residentially Zoned Neighbourhood”. This kind of STR needs to be in a commercial or higher density area.

Please understand we are NOT including the Locally Owned, “Owner- -Occupied During the time of Rental”, Partial (1 or 2 rooms) home rental units. In fact it became apparent that there are a number of well functioning “whole house” STR’s within our neighbourhoods. The local owners have a vested interest in the community and this has been demonstrated in years of successful community integration. It would seem reasonable to exclude these particular pre-existing STR’s if they have been respectfully hosting for more than 2 years. When Council comes up with bylaws, regulations and taxes, of course they will have to comply as others will.

One of the most repeated areas of concern is the growing lack of AVAILABLE, affordable housing. This concern has been echoed in many cities…both large and small. Throughout the world, cities have developed policy limiting STR’s to owner occupied, with only “partial” dwelling availability. Even locally, South Bruce, Collingwood, Goderich and most recently, London, do not permit STR’s in residential areas unless they comply with these same owner-occupied, partial home rental criteria.

We, as a concerned group understand this is a complex, multi-layered issue but much research and studies have been done by numerous municipalities already. We would urge Council to utilize these existing documents to create a policy ASAP. Time is of the essence to those of us living in these affected neighbourhoods. Although there may be only about a dozen of this type of STR currently, we are a city “ripe for the picking” as more City Councils decide in favour of limiting and regulating these commercial Businesses.




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