Charlottetown asking for input on short-term rentals

The city of Charlottetown is asking the public for input on the topic of short-term rentals.

City collecting feedback through an online survey, before creating a new bylaw

With the growing popularity of sites like Airbnb, Charlottetown plans to create a bylaw to regulate short-term rentals. But first, the city is looking for public feedback. (John MacDougall/Getty Images)

The city of Charlottetown is asking the public for input on the topic of short-term rentals.

Charlottetown council is working on a bylaw to regulate short-term rentals, through sites such as Airbnb.

That new bylaw is due in the fall, and the first step of a public consultation process has begun, with a survey posted online Friday.

"Essentially the whole purpose of the survey was to basically be open-ended to just garner a lot of feedback from the public," Robert Zilke, an urban planner with the city told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin.

'Get all viewpoints'

The survey includes 12 questions, which Zilke says were designed to capture a wide range of feedback. 

"There's a variety of stakeholders involved in this issue. And so essentially the questions have been worded in such a way so that we get all viewpoints," Zilke said.

Charlottetown urban planner Robert Zilke says the survey was designed to gather a wide range of feedback. (CBC)

"Everything from how should short-term rentals be regulated, from either a single detached home to apartment dwelling to townhouse and everything in between, to should there be a limit to how long you can advertise your place for short-term rental. And then we get into other regulations on looking at OK, should this be a licensed operation then."

The input will be gathered and brought to city council, which will hold a public meeting in June. 

Timely issue

Zilke says he knows many people rely on rental income, but he has also seen how short-term rentals have shifted from home sharing to more commercial enterprises. 

A recent analysis by CBC News found that one out of every 50 private dwellings in Charlottetown was listed for rent on Airbnb. 

Zilke believes the discussion around short-term rentals is timely in Charlottetown, on P.E.I., and elsewhere. 

"I think there is a time where you know, government needs to step in and take some responsibility. You know, take a look at OK, this can exist, but under what framework?"

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With files from CBC News Compass


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