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Sidney Council Approves New Bylaw for Short-Term Rentals

Sidney, B.C.; At a Public Hearing held September 24th, Sidney Council adopted an amendment to the zoning bylaw to allow short-term rentals (STR) in Sidney. Up until this time, the bylaw only permitted short-term rentals in hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts. However, the number of STR’s operating in the community has been steadily growing. 

Mayor Steve Price stated, “Our main objective for moving forward with this bylaw amendment is to preserve our long-term rental housing stock. With a nearly 0% vacancy rate, every available unit counts towards offering long-term rental housing. ”

The approved zoning bylaw amendment will allow short-term rentals but limits them to properties occupied by a long-term resident who has empty bedrooms in their home or wishes to rent out their home while they are on vacation.  The intention is to ensure that there is minimal impact on the availability of potential long-term rental units by establishing specific requirements. These requirements include: 

Only one (1) STR is permitted per property.
The property (i.e. single-family dwelling, condo, etc.) must be continuously occupied by a permanent resident, whether it be the owner or a tenant.
STR is not permitted on properties that have a secondary suite or other secondary dwelling unit occupied by a long-term tenant (however, the secondary dwelling unit may be used for STR if not occupied by a long-term tenant).
STR is not permitted on properties that have an active residential boarding or bed and breakfast use.
No more than two bedrooms in a dwelling unit may be used for a STR.
A bedroom in a STR may not have separate or additional cooking facilities.

Details about the newly approved bylaw amendment and short-term rentals in Sidney can be found on the Town’s website at www.sidney.ca/str.