St. Edmunds Property Owners, Inc. supports the idea and practice of RESPONSIBLE Short Term Rentals.
Municipalities of all sizes throughout this province are impacted by and recognize the importance of “Seasonal Residents” or “Second Home Owners” who rent responsibly using the following criteria.
- Number of occupants does not exceed the design capacity of the building and its septic system
- Occupancy is “normal family” use for which the building was designed and built.
- Septic System is operating properly and is regularly maintained
- When constructed, the building met all applicable building codes
- The building and property meets all relevant fire codes
- Minimum stay restricted to four nights.
- The landlord is onsite or nearby or readily accessible 24/7 and is known to and readily accessible by the neighbours 24/7 in case of any emergency or tenant problems
- Adequate on site parking for ALL vehicles associated with the property
- Tenants are apprised of all “house rules” including absolute respect and consideration for the neighbours
- No inconsiderate behaviour including no noise after 11:00 PM or before 9:00 AM
- Tenants are aware of and comply with all ordinances including applicable Fire Bans and NO Fireworks
THE PRESENT SITUATION IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF NORTHERN BRUCE PENINSULA
September 27, 2021, Mayor McIver, Deputy Mayor Myles and Councillor Golden voted on and passed a Short Term Accommodations Bylaw and a Municipal Accommodations Tax Bylaw that only applies to rented cottages. Councillors Myles and Mielhausen due to declared conflicts of interest were not eligible to vote.
Nine weeks later with only three weeks and ten working days remaining, the following media release was posted at noon hour on December 10, 2021.
Media Release- Short Term Accommodations- December 10, 2021
Visit the Short Term Accommodation page for further information.
Ready to apply for your STA licence? Apply before January 1, 2022 and registration and inspections fees will be waived for the upcoming year.
The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula Website has information on the status of “STAs” on its website as of December 2, 2021 https://www.nbpstareview.org/
Registration is through a third party website, apparently intended for building permit applications with an added component to register a Short Term Accommodation. Almost instantly, glitches in the registration process became glaringly apparent with reported difficulties while navigating the website in order to start registration. Accounts of the website freezing occurred with some regularity. Registering an STA on the site definitely requires patience and computer familiarity. It is not for the faint of heart with a computer.
Anyone experiencing difficulties with registering an STA was encouraged to contact Municipal Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Bylaw department email@example.com or the CAO at firstname.lastname@example.org Staff were helpful although some replies raised more questions than answers; by the end of the first week, many email inquiries went unanswered, presumably due to the volume of inquiries.
Absent from the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula website, until now, is much needed educational information for owners, renters and visitors. Communicating tabout bylaws and expectations is a logical first step. People for the most part, understand the need for and want to abide by “the rules”. Consequences for “rule breakers” need to be clearly stated and enforced. How can people, especially visitors, be expected to follow expectations and rules if there is nothing posted on the website?
EXAMPLES OF VISITOR EDUCATION
City of Kawartha Lakes website, in particular, scroll down to the printable PDFs:
Tiny Township, note the STA Task Force in lieu of costly consultants.
St. Edmunds Property Association, Inc Executive recognizes that the increasing popularity of this beautiful area and an ever growing demand for all accommodation venues necessitates that The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula extends its due diligence to all accommodation venues, including Motels, Hotels, Rental Cottages, Campgrounds, Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Homes. The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula’s Short Term Accommodation Bylaw and MAT Bylaws must apply equally to all places and not discriminate against the majority of responsible cottage owners who choose to conscientiously rent their property.
Education is fundamental for living in and visiting in this pristine part of Ontario. Education should include but is not limited to: Provincially mandated Fire and Building Codes, septic system information, bylaws including noise, fires and fireworks, parking and garbage disposal are some but not all educational examples; it is long overdue.
Typical spending by Cottage Renters: Typical family spending while renting at Tobermory
Facts about Cottage Rentals Facts about cottage rentals (003)
The City of Kawartha Lakes and The Municipality of Tiny Township have developed and implemented Short Term Rental policies. They have opted for zero tolerance bylaw enforcement with fines for repeat offenders. This is exactly what is required in The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula! Please take the time to open and to read the following links.
The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, collected and tabulated data on the number and nature of complaints associated with rented cottages; looking at the small number of complaints, one has to wonder what all the fuss is about: COMPLAINTS RELATED TO STAs, 2017 – 2019. There is no differentiation between owner or renter delinquent behaviour COMPLAINTS RELATED TO STAs RECEIVED
The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula conducted a survey during the winter of 2018-2019 in order to determine the number of Short Term Accommodations that exist in the municipality: Short-Term-Accomodations-Survey-April-8-2019.pdf
December 16, 2019 the Consultant reported to Council, the first item was entitled “Best Practices, it draws a comparison to other municipalities. STA Best Practices for STAs – Final Report (2) 16DEC19, it was followed by a detailed summary of the survey, STA Survey Results – Final Report (2) 16DEC19 and preliminary recommendations STA Recommendations Report (1) 16DEC19
FOCA, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association, website page “Responsible Cottage Rental” outlines a number of aspects for “responsible renting” including links to practices in other municipalities. It can be found at this link https://foca.on.ca/responsible-cottage-rental/
Penalize (STAs) Who Have Infracted, Not Those Who Are Responsibly Sharing
Homes Letter_ The Battle on the Bruce – Penalize (STAs) Who Have Infracted, Not Those Who Are Responsibly Sharing Homes _ Bruce Peninsula Press
DEALING WITH A NEIGHBOUR’S DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR
Dealing with a “troublesome” neighbour can be awkward; ideally, the first step should be addressing the situation in person prior to filing a formal complaint. If resolution on a personal basis fails, then complaints about noise or disruptive behaviour should be directed to the Ontario Provincial Police, non-emergency call line 1 888 310 1122. If a situation is potentially life threatening, 911 should be contacted without hesitation. Fire infractions, namely large campfires, fireworks or burning during a fire ban, should be reported to 911 in order for the Fire Department to respond. Barking, vicious or running at large dog incidents should be reported directly to the By-law Officer at 519 793 3823 x235.
At this time, the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula does not have a specific bylaw that is applicable to Rented Cottages.
The following Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula bylaws with some amendments would be applicable to the current debate: