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B.C.’s short term rental legislation ‘hammers’ Vernon tourism

Condos like The Strand, Vita and Outback would be forced into long-term rentals under current proposals

The province’s attempt to help the housing crisis isn’t sitting well in Vernon.

Legislation was recently tabled by B.C. which will force many short term rentals, like Vita, The Strand and The Outback to move to long-term.

READ MORE: Province to limit short-term rentals in some B.C. communities, but not all

“Some of these places aren’t attainable housing - it’s tourism accommodation really,” said Coun. Brian Quiring, adding SilverStar isn’t even currently on the exempted list. “It’s going to absolutely hammer tourism.”

The city wants to see the province provide more clarity and work with them on the legislation.

“We are happy to participate but careful when you’re doing this because it has a number of significant unintended consequences,” said Mayor Victor Cumming.

For Vernon, there are no hotels near the lakes, therefore platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo are the only options for those wanting a resort-type stay.

Taking these properties out of the pool will be “detrimental to tourism for us,” Coun. Teresa Durning said.

“It’s going to drive many of these properties into the marketplace and that concerns me even more,” she said.

Coun. Kari Gares points out that these are some of the only options in town.

“We don’t actually have a lot of hotel rooms, the ones that do have suites are occupied by families who need rentals.”

With emails already coming in from residents about the legislation, the city is taking a closer look at the rules.

Staff admit the scope is going to be significant and say Premier David Eby has more housing announcements in coming weeks.

READ MORE: Vernon debates out-of-province boats

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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