By Perry Lefko
A staff report presented on December 5 to Mississauga’s Planning and Development Committee recommends amendments to the zoning bylaw to regulate short-term accommodations in the city.
The proposed amendments are:
- defining short-term accommodation as the use of all or part of a dwelling unit, used by the owner or leaseholder as their principal residence, for temporary overnight accommodation for 28 days or less;
- defining a principal residence according to the Income Tax Act;
- permitting short term accommodations (STA) in all principal residences in the City of Mississauga, in all types of residential units for 28 days or less;
- requiring a minor variance or rezoning application to permit an STA in a dwelling that is not a principal residence. This will allow condominium boards, neighbours and property managers to comment on the application and city departments to evaluate the request. If a minor variance application is submitted, the committee of adjustment can impose conditions of approval including time limits.
The recommendations include allowing STAs in all dwelling types that are primary residences, subject to conditions.
The report also includes an update on responses from an online survey and public consultation process as well as an updated municipal scan and recommendations to amend the zoning bylaw to regulate STAs. The city’s zoning bylaw currently does not prohibit STAs. Council directed enforcement staff to further examine STAs in Mississauga, consult with stakeholders and recommend options for regulatory control within three months.
The report cited similar regulations proposed in Toronto and Vancouver and already in place in New York City, Philadelphia, Portland and San Francisco.
There are existing bylaws to address nuisance concerns that may be related to STAs. Under those bylaws, city staff respond to any complaints in the community as they arise.
“The proposed amendments to the zoning bylaw represent a balanced approach to regulating short-term accommodations in Mississauga,” noted Ed Sajecki, planning and building commissioner. “They clarify how residents can share their principal residences with others, while limiting the potential impacts on housing availability and affordability. They also provide some additional protection to buildings and neighbourhoods.”
Staff are also considering the potential to tax short-term accommodations. On November 1 at the general committee, council approved, in principle, the introduction of a four per cent hotel tax effective July 1.
As next steps, staff will present the proposed zoning bylaw amendments to council for approval in early 2018. The enforcement division will report to the general committee on a possible registry or licensing regime for short-term accommodations to reduce the potential for nuisance impacts in buildings and neighbourhoods.