Town of Huntsville seeking public input on private short-term rental accommodations

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The Town of Huntsville is looking for feedback regarding proposed legislation for private, short-term vacation rentals in Huntsville.

To view the components of the new program see the links below:

1. Draft Zoning Amendment By-Law

2. Draft Licensing By-Law

3. Draft Licensing Application

The Town has set up multiple ways for individuals to provide feedback on the planned regulatory framework.

Residents can participate in the public consultation process in the following ways:

1. Sign Up with myhuntsville.ca to review the legislation and ask a question.

2. Take an online questionnaire

3. Participate in one of the following Open Houses to provide feedback to staff:

a. Tuesday, October 22nd – 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Partners Hall, 37 Main Street East, Huntsville

b. Wednesday, October 23rd – 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Partners Hall 37 Main Street East, Huntsville

c. Saturday, October 26th – 10:30 am – 12:30 pm – Partners Hall 37 Main Street East, Huntsville

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16 Comments

  1. Waldi Frankiewicz on

    As I mentioned earlier in my comments, such moves by the local authorities are an attempt to circumvent the Canadian constitution. In my opinion, these are illegal activities.People who occasionally decide to rent to someone one or two rooms in their home cannot be treated as hotel or motel owners who rent more than 10 rooms daily throughout the year.No homeowner will rent rooms in his home having a monthly income sufficient to support himself and his family.Lack of financial resources for living forces homeowners to make such decisions.

    • There are “Pros and Cons” to Airbnb. I can see the point in living next to a property renting with
      Airbnb and having people coming and going constantly , however, I feel if neighbours complained to Airbnb the listing could be cancelled. I understand that local hotels are impacted, however, Huntsville is a tourist area and at times requires extra accommodation. Also, it is a choice for people to use Airbnb, these people prefer the ambiance of a home to the restrictions of a hotel room it is not always about the cost, most are there to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in the area and prefer to live in a home.. Another point I have, for years people were, and still are, renting their homes privately as B&B’s which are not controlled as Airbnb is and do not pay taxes.

      ut

  2. We just spent 30 minutes filling in the questionnaire and then it said we had already submitted and could only submit once. The thing is, we did not submit a previous questionnaire, in fact we just registered, so we couldn’t have done it twice

    • Thank for your response to the Short Term Accommodation Rental survey Sandra. You did complete the survey however the completion message was worded in a confusing manner making it appear you had previously done so, we have changed the wording to make it clear you have completed the survey.

      Thank you for your input.

  3. There is a HUGE difference between someone renting out an extra room to supplement their income, and someone buying multiple properties, renting to as many people as possible and not living or caring about the neighbourhood

    • There’s home owners that don’t care about their neighbourhood. There’s long term renters that don’t care about their neighbourhood, Seen and witnessed with my own two eyes.
      There’s homeowners that make noise at all hours, and cottage owners doing the same day and into the late hours.
      Owner, long term or short term renter including Airbnb, the property owner is subject to bylaws.
      If I can own 6 houses, leave them empty or fill them with teenagers, they’re my property. You can’t pick your neighbours. That’s real life.

  4. Waldi Frankiewicz on

    Sandra,I fully agree with you.There is a huge difference.I just want to remind you that the project prepared by the authorities in Huntsville is not a survey. It is an attempt to load additional taxes on all homeowners renting room or several rooms for a short period regardless of the material situation of the landlords.I have lived in Huntsville for many years.I have tons of friends having their homes in the big cities of Ontario and cottages in Huntsville.None of them rent a house or rooms at home or on a cottage.They do not rent because their financial situation is more than good.Who are the people renting rooms in their homes? People on the verge of misery, older people whose only income is retirement, younger people without work and combiners * investors * (so far I have not had the opportunity to meet them).

  5. I do not support a tax or the need to register on those who occasionally rent out a room or a cottage or even a lot to camp on. They are not in a business. They are helping out friends and neighbours. I agree with Sandra Rae above

  6. The survey is written in a biased view. Several questions presume someone is already against short term rentals then only gives choices for adding controls resulting in improvement. The only possible interpretation of these questions regardless of answer given is additional controls will bring improvement. There is no option to say additional controls could have adverse effects.

  7. Waldi Frankiewicz on

    Some thoughts force me to make a new comment.I am tormented by the question of what will happen if the fathers of Huntsville municipality finds a way to introduce this regulation?.In the past, we had a big business in Mississauga.Many former employees and their families visit us. I don’t take into account my immediate and distant family. There are a lot of people and a lot of cars.Many of my neighbors are in a similar situation.We’re afraid of being overrun with controls.No need for anybody’s interrogation and problems.Will such uncertainty of tomorrow attract business people to invest their money in Huntsville, where blind regulations and taxes chasing taxes are commonplace?

  8. NO to B& B’s ! There are people trying to make a living with Motels and cottage resorts. They do not interfere with neighbors at all! I hope I never see a B&B in my area I don’t want loud parties etc,

    • Jim

      As a long time Registered B&B owner, (and not airbnb) I feel you have been mislead that B&Bs are not contributing to this community in a positive manner. We are regulated and follow all of the guidelines laid out by the province and are legitimate businesses and offer inspected quality accommodations for the travelling public. We live in the homes that we rent out rooms in and are not party places, but simply quality homes that offer a more customized stay in the Huntsville area

  9. Tried the questionnaire thing. It did not actually register me, but now locks me out as it does have my email. Technology at it’s best again.

    The point I’d like to make is that if you operate an accommodation “business” in a “residential” zoning then you are not in compliance with your zoning and this should not be allowed. We already have these zoning rules and they are there for a purpose. Like if you own a “waterfront residential” zoned home you did not spend a million dollars for it so you could be unit 2 of a 5 unit resort on that waterfront did you?

    So you say a man’s home is his castle, we can’t stop them. This is pretty feeble, the Municipality has no trouble worrying about fireworks, bonfires, parking and the like. Surely they can figure out short term rentals.

    My take is that if you advertise all over the internet, (just like any hotel) and then rent out rooms or homes (just like a resort would) and you rent by the day, weekend, week etc (just like any commercial resort again) then my observation would be that YOU ARE OPERATING A COMMERCIAL BUSINESS and thus you need to be in a commercially zoned area. Residential zones are not Commercial zones so you must either get your property re-zoned to Commercial or cease and desist the commercial operation.

    This is pretty simple. Why all the fuss? Why can’t the Municipality enforce their own laws?

    I don’t believer that they “can’t” do this. They just don’t “want” to do this as there are lots of private owners hooked up to things like Air B&B now and these folks all vote…. guess who the Municipality listens to?
    This is a whole other issue, we shall stay out of this today, but the rental of short term accommodation, advertised over any media is logically and should be treated as a “commercial” operation.

    Everybody should be asking their councilor why they are not doing their existing job!!!

    • Brian my question to you is when people rent out their extra space, apartment or room, whatever on a full time basis is that not also a commercial enterprise. There is no bylaw to prevent that!!! Why should there be a bylaw to prevent short term rentals. I am a senior and rent the lower portion of my home on Airbnb to supplement my income. There is a bedroom, bathroom, sitting area, kitchenette with fridge and microwave. I cannot rent it out full time as there is no stove and also my laundry room is on that level so I need access to that. I rent to couples and have never had a problem with neighbours complaining. I would be quite willing to pay a fee to the town if required, but again why should I when other people who rent out their extra space full time do not have to pay a fee???? Also, many of my guests could not afford to come to Muskoka if it was not for the low fees charged by Airbnb hosts as compared to many of the cottage resorts and hotels. My guests spend ample money in Huntsville at restaurants, grocery stores, gift stores and such. The town is cutting off their nose to spite their face when bringing in bylaws to prevent rentals such as mine.

  10. Robert Tyrrell on

    I agree that the bylaw should be changed to allow short term rentals for residential property owners. However, there should no licensing or fees imposed. The existing bylaws and regulations are sufficient. The proposed new bylaw with licensing would require a great deal of administration and enforcement for so little gain.

  11. Kathy Duchesne on

    Renting a room in your own home is different than people (real estate agents) buying houses all over town in our quiet safe neighborhoods to use as hotels. So now the hotels in our town will be half empty and the hotel business will be in our neighborhoods.

    If town council cares about the housing crisis then why do this? It will drive housing prices up and drive the supply of houses down. Most people who live and work here can’t afford to buy a home here anymore! If anyone has tried to rent a place in Huntsville they know how difficult it is. Now if landlords can make more money with Airbnb its going to be even harder. Leave Airbnb zoned commercial or like Toronto where you have to live in the home. I find it a strange coincidence that we finally had a plateau in the housing market where prices are not sky rocketing and now we want to change our Airbnb laws. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    The argument the town is not able to enforce our by-laws or make them to suit our towns’ needs is ridiculous. If by-laws can’t be enforced then why have them? If my neighbor does an Airbnb I will have to change my way of living. I bought a house in a subdivision for a reason. Is it worth making people feel unsafe just to collect another tax? If anyone has concerns with any of this they should watch how their councilor votes!

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