A group of concerned and frustrated West Kelowna residents have launched a petition that asks that the city keep short term rentals illegal. File photo

West Kelowna residents launch petition to keep short term rentals illegal

City councillor Rick de Jong said he receives multiple emails a week from concerned residents

A group of concerned and frustrated West Kelowna residents have launched a petition asking that the city keep short-term rentals illegal, as talks of licensing these spaces continue to garner traction.

“Some residents have been going door to door in different neighbourhoods talking to people about this problem,” the group wrote in an email to West K News.

“They have had an overwhelming response in support of keeping short-term rentals prohibited. Many people have been having this same experience, complained to city officials and nothing changes.”

Under the City of West Kelowna’s bylaw, vacation rentals — “other than bed and breakfast uses, agri-tourism accommodations, and the use of resort apartments and resort townhouses” — are prohibited in every zone.

“Mayor and council of West Kelowna are considering licensing these short-term rentals because bylaw enforcement does not have the manpower to monitor these homes,” the group wrote.

READ MORE: West Kelowna short-term rental regulations could change soon

Mark Koch, the director of development services at the City of West Kelowna, oversees bylaw services and said the department understands the group’s frustration.

“We get that, and we look forward to having that discussion at a policy level as to where council wants to go with it.”

He noted that while resources are limited, bylaw services are doing what they can to address the complaints.

“I can certainly say that compliance issues as they relate to short-term rentals within the community have very much been addressed. Tickets have been issued in a number of instances,” he said.

City of West Kelowna councillor Rick de Jong said he receives multiple emails a week from concerned residents, and that he supports the group’s cause and efforts.

“Having had a short-term rental for a period of time beside my residence, I can sympathize and understand their concerns…,” said de Jong. “They can be problematic if the owner of the residence isn’t present to maintain order in the household.”

READ MORE: B.C. sets limits on number of guests, visitors in vacation rentals, houseboats

He applauds residents who are taking matters into their own hands.

“They’re getting there out there and having their voices heard, and running a petition. That takes a lot of work, energy, dedication and commitment. I recognize that,” he said.

A decision on the fate of short-term rentals will be made in late August, and while he isn’t sure where council as a whole stands on the issue, de Jong said he’d like to see property owners present during rentals if these operations are legalized.

“Whatever direction council comes up with, I certainly as a member of the table will be encouraging some sort of moderation — where homeownership and responsibility of that homeowner to mitigate those impacts in the local neighbourhood is going to be required,” he said.

Anyone interested in viewing the city’s zoning bylaw can do so here. The petition can be found at https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/city-of-west-kelowna-short-term-rentals.html.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plan in place for students’ return at OKIB cultural immersion school

An outdoor program will precede the start of regular classes Sept. 21 at the school on Westside Road

WATCH: Gas line repaired downtown, evac lifted

Firefighters, police on scene near 32nd Avenue — more to come

Wedding party bear sprayed at Cherryville campsite

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Reform taxes to bolster job growth in distilling: Vernon chamber says

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce urges residents to push feds for tax reform

Camp Day pours ahead at Tim Hortons despite COVID-19

All coffee and iced coffee sales, and bracelet purchases support sending kids to camp

Video: SUV burns alongside the highway near Salmon Arm

Footage of the burning vehicle was posted to Youtube.

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Federal Conservative leadership candidate skirts COVID-19 rules at Kelowna rally

Derek Sloan held a rally in Kelowna that had more than 50 people, which is against health orders from the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

South Okanagan restaurant ranked among world’s best by TripAdvisor

The Hooded Merganser was ranked within the top 10 per cent of all restaurants by TripAdvisor reviews

Highway 97 upgrade option for Peachland faces 20-year delay

Peachland council disappointed by highways department decision

Most Read