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Councillor - Town of Blue Mountains

Town of the Blue Mountains Cracks Down On Illegal Short Term Accommodation Operators

Congratulations to the Town’s Building & By-law Services Team. This should send out a good message to the residents and the residential community that STA offenders will not be tolerated.

Media Release: October 30, 2015 (Town of The Blue Mountains, Ontario)

The Town’s Manager, By-law Services and Chief Building Official, Greg Miller, reported today that the Town has successfully convicted two owners of operating an illegal Short Term Accommodation premises.

Miller said that the charges resulted in a guilty plea agreement by the defendants for fines of $2,500.00 each plus Victim Fine Surcharge, court costs and were ordered not to operate their premises on a short basis without a licence.

Council, at its meeting on November 25, 2013, enacted the Short Term Accommodation Licensing By-law that came into force on July 1, 2014 to regulate, govern and license premises that are being rented for less than 30 consecutive days. The by-law was enacted in response to numerous complaints received by Council over the years regarding noise, parking, overcrowding and safety of STA premises – a long standing concern in the Town.

The By-law Services Division has issued 148 STA licences out of 185 applications since the inception of the STA Licensing Program. However, Miller stated “We believe there are several more out there that should be licensed but some owners have simply chosen to ignore the requirement to be licensed taking a ‘catch me if you can approach’”.

In 2015 alone, By-law Services Staff have initiated just over 130 investigations with 80 those that are actively being investigated including the monitoring of rental websites and neighbourhood surveillance. “These investigations are very time consuming – we need substantive evidence to be successful in court”, Miller added. “This is a priority of Council and we will continue to be diligent and seek compliance”.

While the Town has successfully prosecuted its first two illegal STA premises under the Licensing By-law, the Town has laid charges on eight other properties for operating a STA premises without a licence and expect several more in the coming months.

Municipal Contact:

Greg Miller, C.E.T., CBCO

Manager, Building & By-law Services

Chief Building Official

(519) 599-3131 ext. 261

CBO@thebluemountains.ca

 

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