Report to Council and Community March 5, 2018

Seguin Council March 5th meeting eAgenda


Short-term Cottage Rental Report No: DPS-PL-2018-019

The following is an update on the six step process to regulate and resolve issues as a result of short term cottage rental in Seguin for commercial purposes.

If you have input on this issue, a Public Meeting will take place to provide staff and Council direction regarding a recommended approach in April 2018 (TBA).  Your input can be provided in writing or in person.

Recommendation: That Council receives this report for information and direct staff to
implement Phase 5 of the Terms of Reference for the Short-term Cottage Rental Study (Public Meeting – April 2018).

Background & Purpose of Report: At the September 5th 2017 meeting, Council discussed the possible regulation of short-term cottage rentals. Council directed staff to prepare a summary of terms of reference and a proposed time line for researching regulation of short term cottage rentals and reporting to Council. This report suffices Council’s direction.
On September 18, 2017, Council received Report DPS-PL-2017-111 for information and directed staff to implement the Terms of Reference for the Short-term Cottage Rental Study. In Phase 2 of the project, staff was to research and consult with the municipalities and agencies regarding existing Short-term Cottage Rental Policies/Regulations and their enforceability successes. This report provides the findings of this research. On November 20, 2017, Council received Report DPS-PL-2017-138 for information and directed staff to solicit comments from the public and interested parties on the Short-term Cottage Rental Study. Since that time, the Township has received in excess of 60 emails and letters from residents, lake associations and STCR operators on the project.

Financial Analysis: The Township’s solicitor may be asked to provide an opinion of the
enforceability of the Council’s preferred regulatory option. Such an opinion is estimated to be $1,000.

Policies and Regulations Affecting the Study:  Seguin Official Plan Policy C. (Resort Commercial Uses) states that the resort commercial uses permitted in the shoreline Area designation shall be limited to existing and appropriately zoned tourist establishments and resorts, or other similar uses and facilities which are privately owned and operated to provide accommodation on a temporary basis (which includes tent and trailer camps, rental cabins and housekeeping cottages), lodges, motels, marinas or other
similar recreational commercial uses.
Zoning By-law 2006-125 For the most part, non-commercially zoned lakefront properties are generally in either a Shoreline Residential Type 1 (SR1) Zone that are serviced by public roads or a Limited Service Residential (LSR) Zone that are serviced by private roads. Among other things, detached dwellings or cottages are permitted uses. Section 13 of By-law 2006-125 defines a cottage as a residential dwelling unit used or intended to be used as a seasonal recreational building pursuant to Section 9.36 of the Ontario
Building Code. The By-law further defines a Dwelling Unit as a room or rooms which function as a housekeeping unit used or intended to be used as a domicile by one or more persons, in which a kitchen, living quarters and sanitary facilities are provided for the exclusive use of the residents and with a private entrance from outside the building or from a common hallway or stairway. And, a resident is commonly understood to be a person who maintains residency (domicile) in a given place.

Work Plan for the Short-term Cottage Rental Study
As approved by Council on September 18, 2017, the Terms of Reference and Work Plan for the Short-term Cottage Rental Study are organized into six steps.

  1. Short-term Cottage Rental Study Start Up September 2017
  2. Research and consultation with the municipalities and agencies regarding existing short-term Cottage Rental Policies/Regulations October/November 2017
  3. Policy and Regulation Options Report to Council (circulation to Lake Associations and persons requesting notice for comment) November 2017
  4. Council to review public input on the Study March 2018
  5. Council hold a public meeting and provide staff direction regarding recommended approach April 2018
  6. Council Meeting to adopt Amendment and/or enact By-law, if required Second Quarter 2018

Research and Consultation with Municipalities:
In November, Council received Report DPS-PL-2017-138 wherein a synopsis of how 12 municipalities are addressing the STCR issues was provided (see Appendix B). They are summarized as follows:

  1. Seguin Township – not a permitted land use activity;
  2. McDougall Township – prohibited in the Zoning By-law;
  3. Carling Township – not a conforming use;
  4. Whitestone Township – have a Licensing By-law for rental units;
  5. Township of the Archipelago – have not dealt with STCRs;
  6. Muskoka Lakes Township – enforce their existing Municipal By-laws;
  7. Georgian Bay Township – enforce their Zoning By-law;
  8. Puslinch Township – require an amendment to this By-law;
  9. City of Niagara Falls – Cottage Rental Dwellings are licensed;
  10. Niagara on the Lake – licence Short Term Accommodation units;
  11. Blue Mountain – licence Short Term Accommodation units; and,

Other study sources included Cities of Toronto, Mississauga,
Vancouver as well as Icompass.

Regulatory Options:

The options available to Seguin Council include:

  1. Do nothing (Archipelago);
  2. Monitor the STCR issue and use other means like the Noise By-law to address neighbourhood nuisances (Muskoka Lakes);
  3. Continue to monitor the STCRs issue and enforce the regulations of Zoning By-law 2006-125 as they exist today on a complaint basis (Carling, Georgian Bay);
  4. Amend the Zoning By-law to prohibit the STCRs in all Zones (McDougall);
  5. Amend the Zoning By-law to permit STCRs only by site specific zoning by-law amendment (Puslinch); or
  6. Amend the Zoning By-law and establish a Licensing By-law to permit STCRs, subject to specific regulations and licensing requirements (Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake, Blue Mountain).

Summary of Public Comments:
As mentioned previously, the Township received in excess of 60 emails and letters from the public regarding their opinions whether or not to regulate Short Term Cottage Rentals as a land use in Zoning By-law 2006-126. This correspondence is attached as Schedule E. In summary, the comments were divided into three groups as followings:

  1. Status Quo – Do not regulate STRCs – Regulatory Options 1 & 2.
    32 respondents supported this approach. Some respondents were of the opinion that STRCs were good for the local economy and help support the tax base. In this group, there was several persons who supported of taking an educational approach to improve neighbourhood relations. Still, several others were more adamant that it is not the responsibility of the Township to regulate STRCs as a land use.
  2. Prohibit STRCs – Regulatory Options 3 & 4.
    29 respondents supported this approach. The majority of this group generally felt that STCRs should not be permitted at all because they were seen as a commercial land use occurring in a residential area. As such, some respondents supported enforcing the Zoning By-law “as is” while several others were in favour of adding more explicit language to support the prohibition.
  3. Improved Regulatory Framework for STRCs – Regulatory Option 6.
    16 respondents supported this approach. The majority of this group generally felt that there was a need for an improved regulatory framework to control this land use activity.

In order to suffice Council’s direction regarding the implementation of a Terms of Reference for the Short-term Cottage Rental Study, staff is in the process of working at completing the six step STCR work plan in a timely fashion. This involves undertaking an assessment of the public’s opinions on the regulatory options currently in practice as part of Phase 4 of the Study. As such, Council is respectfully requested to consider the findings of staff to date and to direct staff to proceed to implement Phase 5 (Public Meeting) of
the study process.

Respectfully submitted Reviewed Steve Stone, MSc, BES, MCIP, RPP Chris Madej, MA, MCIP, RPP Director of Planning & Development CAO

Schedule A: Public Comments Schedule B: Research

A summary of the March 5th followups. 

  • Proceed with Shore Road Allowance Application No. RAS-2017-0002-H (Morrison). By-law No. 2018-016.  
  • Proceed with Concession Road Allowance Application No. RAC-2017-0018-H (Stack).
  • Prepare for Council consideration a draft bylaw to amend the Building By-law as per the recommendation of Staff Report No. DPSBD-2018-003. 
  • Organize a public meeting to receive input on the potential regulation of short-term
    cottage rentals. Council has instructed that the preferred option at this time is Section 7. Regulatory Options, Subsection 3. Continue to monitor the STCRs issue and enforce the regulations of Zoning By-law 2006-125 as they exist today on a complaint basis, of
    Staff Report No. DPS-PL-2018-019, with a clear definition of commercial. 
  • As per the recommendation of Staff Report No. DPS-PL-2018-020, organize a public
    meeting to receive input on the Waterfront Design Guidelines. 
  • Implement the new Terms of Reference for the West Parry Sound Joint Election
    Compliance Audit Committee. By-law No. 2018-014. 
  • Change the name of the Winter Control Reserve to the Severe Weather Reserve and
    transfer the 2017 year end surplus to reserves. Resolution No. 2018-056. 
  • Award Tender No. 2018-012, new rubber flooring and baseboard in the Humphrey
    Community Centre. Resolution No. 2018-057. 
  • Proceed with Consent Application No. B-2017-0023-C and Rezoning Application No.
    R-2017-0022-C (Union for Reform Judaism Camp George). Resolution No. 2018-060 and By-law No. 2018-015. 
  • Forward the donation to the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve for the Amazing Places
    Program. Resolution No. 2018-062. 
  • Register Mayor Gibbon for the 2018 AMO Conference. Resolution No. 2018-064.
  • Register the following Members of Council for the FONOM/MMA Conference: Councillors Adams, Buszynski, Hepworth and Osborne. Resolution No. 2018-065.
  • Submit a completed Sponsorship Registration Form to the Town of Parry Sound for the 2018 FONOM/MMA Conference for a Bronze Opportunity ($1,000). Resolution No. 2018-066. 
  • Prepare a draft resolution to support the Open Letter and position of The Great Lakes
    and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative on the threat of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes.
  • Prepare an information package on the various Township policies related to council
    remuneration, expenses, benefits, coverages, etc. Provide the Members of
    Council with a copy of the package. 
  • Proceed with the property tax write offs. Bylaw No. 2018-017.

Respectfully Submitted

Jack Hepworth


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About admin

Jack and his wife Gail live at their lakefront home on Sucker Lake in Seguin Township, Ontario. First as Lake Rosseau cottagers, now as full time residents, they retired to Seguin in 1999. Proud parents of three married sons, Jack and Gail have 8 grandchildren. Family, community involvement, and physical fitness, are the pivots that support Jack's life. Striking a balance is essential to empower Jack's passion of working to enhance the quality of our community life. A graduate of McMaster University, Jack worked as a Department Head of Geography in Beamsville, Ancaster, and Highland Secondary School in Dundas, Ontario. He enjoys being involved with challenges that improve our quality of life.
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