The Salt Spring Local Trust Committee has agreed the time has come to examine the role of short-term vacation rentals in the community.
A new project will potentially look at the situation as it relates to the conflicting needs of affordable housing and the tourism-based economy.
Islands Trust bylaw enforcement head Miles Drew gave a report on STVRs at the LTC’s request Thursday afternoon. Salt Spring trustee Peter Grove had suggested an update was needed.
“It’s a matter that has been raised by a number of people in the community and I needed to understand what the issues were better . . . I was looking for what is the situation now, what’s working and what isn’t, and what can be done to improve the situation, whatever that may be,” Grove explained.
Drew said internet searches suggest there are 140 illegal vacation rentals active on the island, including Airbnb units. The enforcement team currently has files open on 11 sites, as a 2007 resolution instructs them to act only if written complaints have been made, or if unlawful STVR activity is related to another complaint regarding the property.