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Mapleton eyes bylaw to regulate short term rentals

Staff say the bylaw is intended to create equal standards for short term rental accommodation in the township
Township of Mapleton sign.

MAPLETON – The township is investigating how to regulate short-term rental accommodation just in time for the summer holidays.

To be discussed at a Mapleton council meeting next Tuesday, a new staff report recommends amendments to the township's zoning bylaw to establish a comprehensive licensing bylaw for short-term rental accommodations (STRAs) and determine whether they are permitted anywhere in the municipality.

According to the report, the proposed licensing program intends to create equal standards for all STRA accommodations while creating a registry that will help promote tourism and reassure potential renters that the property complies with various regulatory requirements.

"The proposed licensing system has the potential to strike a balance between the benefits of STRAs while mitigating potential negative effects related to their operation," said staff in the report. "The goal is to develop a licensing system that complements our comprehensive Zoning By-law regulations, encourages operators to be accountable for the operation of their STRA, mitigate neighbourhood disturbances, and enhance the enforcement tools available to the Township By-law Officer to address non-compliant properties."

Using nearby municipalities as a reference, staff said bed and breakfast establishments within primary residential or primarily commercial areas are traditionally permitted but the township has started to see more situations where there is no principal resident and the property is solely for commercial use.

While there is a need for short-term accommodations in Mapleton, staff said regulations are needed because they're concerned converting residential units to 100 per cent commercial will diminish the ARU and long-term rental supply.

A public meeting to discuss the bylaw will be scheduled in the future.

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

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About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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