Bonfield will consider short-term rental by-law in official plan

Bonfield is working on an official plan for the township, and local resident Paul Preston wants to ensure short-term rentals are taken into consideration. Preston joined Bonfield’s last council meeting to express his concerns, noting neighbouring municipalities have adopted regulations for short-term rentals, and suggested it’s time Bonfield did the same.

Short-term rentals refer to those listings found most often on sites like Airbnb or Vrebo where owners rent out their properties to travellers and tourists. In recent years, more municipalities are regulating these businesses, and Preston urged council to put the issue “high on the list” while working on a new official plan.

See: City to avoid long-term headaches with short-term rental by-law

“We need a short-term rental by-law,” he stated, “because our residential neighbourhoods have been invaded by commercial investors who do not live here.” These absentee landlords “have no vested interests in the well-being of our neighbourhood or our community.”

The short-term rental business “is destroying the nature of our neighbourhood.” He emphasized to council that these rental units should not be allowed within areas zoned for residential use. Also, owners of short-term rentals are taking away residential spaces “which reduces the housing availability” within the township.

See: Paperwork highlights East Ferris’ short-term rental by-law

He urged council to create a by-law that makes it clear Bonfield’s residential zones “are not for commercial investors” aiming to invest in short-term rentals. Preston also suggested the by-law irons out details including rules on how many people can occupy a short-term rental, and how much a permit to operate a rental operation would cost.

The issue will be considered, council told Preston, and will return at a future council meeting.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,