The borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie is getting set to change zoning bylaws to allow for more short-term rentals. It wants to introduce the concept of shared economy by allowing the rental of parking spaces, land and storage space.

Projet Montreal councillor Guillaume Lavoie says he wants his borough to be geared more towards access and less towards ownership.

Maximize the potential

"The typical case in hand is a car which is not used 96 to 98 per cent of the time," Lavoie said.

"The same is true of a driveway which sits empty eight hours a day."

Lavoie says the idea is to allow citizens or organizations to rent out their parking space while they aren't using it.

He points to Airbnb and Uber as example of shared economy or peer-to-peer platforms.

The borough wants to extend its collaborative economy to include renting out storage spaces as well as land that can be used for urban agriculture.

'Segregation of function' stands in the way

Lavoie says that as it stands, residents or organizations can't rent out their spaces unless the particular area is zoned commercial. He calls it a segregation of function.

He uses the example of a church parking lot, often only used at full capacity on Sundays or at special services. Right now, church parking lots are zoned institutional.

Lavoie says that will change.

"Don't discourage a behaviour that would be beneficial to all just because it happens to be against the regulation already in place that was put there a long time ago before all this was possible."

Lavoie says the borough council will look into changing certain bylaws in the new year.