District of Squamish council voted 4-3 to support the motion on allowing a limited number of short-term rentals in the community.
The motion calls upon staff to bring back options on a business licensing system that would allow for a limited number of short-term rentals in secondary suites and carriage homes as well as the primary residence.
Mayor Karen Elliott and Councillors Jenna Stoner, Chris Pettingill and John French supported the motion.
The motion, brought by Councillor Jenna Stoner, calls the staff to create a licensing system option before the staff starts implementing the Short Term Rental (STR) bylaw.
Her motion didn’t specify the number of STRs that will be allowed.
“We keep this on the radar while staff continues to work on the bylaw. I have always talked about this as a pathway to legalization,” she said.Mayor Elliott supported her motion saying the short-term bylaw wasn’t nimble enough in a tourism economy and measures were needed to free up some short-term rental stock.
Several local citizens as well as Tourism Squamish and Chamber of Commerce have raised concerns about the highly restrictive nature of the bylaw passed by the council.
The most restrictive option would allow short-term rentals only in the principal residence, and not in the basement suite or in the coach house.
After a grace period of three months, enforcement starts, first with warning letters and then fines.
District of Squamish will enforce a $500 fine per offence for those found flouting the bylaw.