The District of Squamish will allow a maximum of 30 permits to operate short-term rentals in suites and coach houses on platforms such as Airbnb in Squamish.
Locals who want to operate a short-term rental in basement suite or a coach house will need to apply for a Temporary Use Permit.
The fees for the permit will cost approximately $4,200.
District staff says 30 is a prudent number based on the length of time in a year those suites and coach houses have been rented.
“Based on current data, there are 30 units in the current STR market with a very high rental frequency of over 180 nights a year,” the staff says.
The district says its policy is to prioritize higher frequency rentals as these units provide a larger portion of local economic benefit for tourism.
“The total of 30 permits represents approximately one-third of the existing inventory of available STRs in suites and coach houses currently listed on the Airbnb platform,” district says.
In early November, Squamish council voted 4-3 to support a limited number of short-term rentals in basement suites and carriage homes.
The decision came after criticism by locals and non-profits that district’s earlier position on restricting short-term rentals to just the main homes was too restrictive and would hurt the tourism economy.
Meanwhile, Tourism Squamish has once again expressed its concern in a letter to the district.
Lesley Weeks, the executive director of Tourism Squamish, says they are concerned that a cap of 30 permits is too limiting, as 30 permits only capture approximately one-third of existing suites.
Weeks noted that this would mean that approximately 50 to 60 existing suites and coach homes will not receive a permit and won’t have another legal avenue to continue operation.
“Tourism Squamish considers the fee structure for suite and ADU owners to operate a short-term rental is excessive, as it goes beyond ‘cost recovery’ of the program and that fees representing between 9% – 16% of annual revenue are prohibitive,” Weeks wrote.