It’s been one year since the new Short Term Accommodations (STA) bylaw came into effect on July 2, 2014 in the Town of The Blue Mountains. Despite this passage of time, there continues to be confusion about this issue and it’s no wonder; the bylaw is complex.
The bylaw essentially prohibits rentals of less than 30 days in the municipality unless they fall into an exception category. For example, owners of chalets who could prove that they were using their properties as STA’S prior to February 4, 2008 could be considered grandfathered and could make application for a licence to continue the use subject to the provisions of the new bylaw. There have been only 33 of those approved.
Owners of condo units in specific areas shown in the bylaw, such as most of the legacy condos around Blue Mountain, could be exempt from applying for a licence IF the unit is located in a single development where one rental management company is handling rentals for at least 10 units. If not, they need to apply for a licence and do not need to have been grandfathered. The licencing process is somewhat cumbersome and there is an application fee of $2,000 to cover the first two years and a renewal fee of $750 bi-annually thereafter.
The area that I find most confusing is in Mountain Springs Resort which is zoned as a commercial use yet, they are presently not able to apply for a licence as STA’s are not permitted. This is likely going to change as the Town reviews the by-law however, presently it means owners have only one option and that is to have their units managed by the rental company that handles 10 or more units in the development. Isn’t that nuts? I still can’t quite believe that people cannot do what they are zoned to do.
One important item of note: if a property with a licence in place is sold, the license is NOT transferable and the new owner must apply.
You can find more details about the bylaw and application procedures on the Town’s website.
If you are considering the purchase of a property in Blue Mountain that you wish to rent out on a short term basis from time to time, it’s critical that you are informed about all of the ins and outs of this bylaw. There may be other options that meet your needs. Let’s talk.
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg