Letters: Dissecting the topsy-turvy world of Sechelt’s short-term rental policy

“The negative effects of DOS could be reduced in several ways. Limits may be placed on the number of vacation rentals and the size of each unit. Eliminating DOS clusters would ensure that no resident struggles with multiple problems. Capping the number of consecutive days or the total number of rental days would alleviate noise and other issues. Requiring an operator who lives on site would be very effective. ‘

Editor:

During the most recent Short-Term Rental Housing (STR) consultation process, the District of Sechelt identified neighborhood suitability as its top priority. Supporting local tourism and enabling additional revenue was low on the list. The community survey confirmed strong public support for these rankings.

The negative effects of STRs could be reduced in several ways. Limits may be placed on the number of vacation rentals and the size of each unit. Eliminating DOS clusters would ensure that no resident struggles with multiple problems. Capping the number of consecutive days or the total number of rental days would alleviate noise and other issues. Requiring an operator who lives on site would be very effective.

The Sechelt Board recognized each of these possibilities. Which did he choose? None. Some of them were not even included in the survey. Very large unsupervised STRs will continue to be allowed daily. Not as much as before, but that will be no consolation for people who will continue to have their quality of life affected by these de facto hotels.

These decisions were made against the clear and consistent input of our community associations. The advice of hired professional consultants, to ban unsupervised DOS, was also ignored. The District has not been true to its stated goals. Business interests are clearly the winners, not our neighborhoods.

Slogans such as “Have your say” and “What we heard” ring hollow when feedback is ignored. This undermines confidence not only in the current elected officials of Sechelt, but also in the government in general.

Richard Carton, Sechelt

About Jermaine Chase

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