City asks for extended stay for regulations and short-term rental fees

The proposed short-term rental settlement provides for a $600 application fee and $275 application renewal fee for hosts, with an appeal fee of $1,600 plus a holding fee calculated at the rate $78 per hour.

Instead of its regular Tuesday meetings, North Bay City Council has instead called special committee and council meetings for Wednesday, beginning at 5:15 p.m.

As part of the special part of the committee, a public meeting will be held to discuss short-term rentals and new user fees that the City of North Bay is seeking to associate with the practice. Any person may attend the public meeting and/or make written or oral submissions in favor of or in opposition to the proposed zoning by-law amendment to define short-term rental.

In its proposed zoning bylaw update, the City of North Bay defines a short-term rental (LOD) as “all or part of a dwelling unit used to provide accommodation for any rental period less than 28 days in exchange for payment”, but this excludes bed and breakfasts, institutional tourist establishments, tourist establishments, tourist camping establishments, motels, resorts or any other similar commercial or institutional use.

The City will also be looking to attach a host of fees to its proposed STR bylaw.

“To offset the cost of providing services, municipalities have the power, under Section 391(1) of the Municipal law to impose fees or charges on individuals. The City “conducted a cost analysis to determine the total cost of adopting and enforcing the bylaw. The full cost recovery rates were then used as a benchmark against which new charges were established,” according to the staff report.

The draft STR regulation requests a $600 application fee and a $275 application renewal fee for hosts. These cost of using include defined tasks for the average application, including application receipt, review, processing, inspections, notices, orders, monitoring, communications, and inspections.

The appeal fee is $1,600. In addition, waiting charges will be calculated at the rate of $78 multiplied by the number of hours of waiting. These fees are intended to be billed for the actual time spent organizing, documenting and supervising the work outside of the standard fees.

“Calibration of this regulation has been done with the framework of local communities and municipalities of similar sizes in North Bay, where applicable,” according to the report. For a comparative table of applicable fees, Click here.

To learn more about the City of North Bay’s short-term rental proposal, see: Short-term rentals will be the focus of the public meeting

STRs are divided into two sections: main and non-main. A short-term main living unit rental also serves as someone’s main living unit. Conversely, a short-term rental of a dwelling other than a principal dwelling does not serve as someone’s principal dwelling.

A zoning by-law amendment will establish where STRs are permitted.

According to a North Bay town staff report“There are clear differences between a main dwelling unit STR and a non-main dwelling unit STR and therefore they should be subject to different standards using a zoning amendment as the primary tool for A main dwelling unit STR is a form of house-sharing whereas a non-main dwelling STR is considered a hotel-like commercial use.”

To learn more about the proposed zoning changes, Click here.

Short-term rentals are often brokered by companies such as Airbnb and VRBO which provide an online marketplace for accommodations for vacation rentals and tourist activities. The growing popularity of these online accommodation sites is pushing municipalities in Northern Ontario to regulate the practice and recover costs.

Two planning issues will also be discussed at the special committee meeting. For the full agenda, Click here.

Notable elements on the special board meeting agenda include a settlement to keep the moratorium on development charges in place until May 2023 and the presentation of the annual report of the Dionne Quints Heritage Board.