The TLTI group opposes short-term rental

A lakeside community in Leeds and the Thousand Islands is objecting to short-term rental services in the area, such as Airbnb.

A delegation presentation regarding this issue was made at the Leeds and Thousand Islands Committee of the Whole on April 6, where local resident Erin Braidford made a presentation to council on behalf of the Killenbeck Lane Resident Association (KLRA).

KLRA has eight properties on a private drive away from Killenbeck Lake, which is approximately less than half a mile long.

On January 15, a property at 112 Killenbeck Lane, two doors down from Braidford Residence, was purchased as investment property by a couple living in downtown Toronto, council heard, offering short-term rentals with 365-day availability to book through seven online booking platforms. .

And KLRA is of the view that this property, which was used as a short-term rental, is a commercial enterprise operating in a limited-service residential area.

“It operates like a ghost hotel, which basically means there’s a locked box on the (entrance) door and the owner is away,” Braidford said. “The owner advertises on his online booking platform: ‘If you look for anything from me during your stay, you won’t see me'”

KLRA asked council to recognize that this property did not comply with zoning requirements. He wants the landlord to be instructed to cease using the property for short term rental purposes, to request rezoning with respect to the permitted use of the property and to request a minor variance with respect to minimum zoning requirements.

The long-term solution proposed by KLRA is to have township staff develop a by-law regarding the regulation of short-term rentals.

“We respectfully request that the current zoning bylaw be used to remedy this situation,” Braidford said.

The property at 112 Killenbeck has since been sold. However, a property at 102 Killenbeck, a doorway from Braidford’s, was purchased in February 2022, and in April Braidford learned of the landlord’s intention to turn the property into a short-term rental.

“We only discovered the intention to operate as an investment property when we met the new owner on April 1,” Braidford said.

“The seller told him the history of our experience, our work towards a settlement with the township and our position of not wanting rentals on our street. When I spoke to him, he told me that there were no rules and that he was not doing anything illegal. So frustrating for all of us after so much effort and work combined.

Steve Donachey, the township’s chief administrative officer, said staff intend to present a report regarding the short-term rental at the committee’s full meeting on May 2.

“Hopefully they put something in place to prevent this from happening in a residential area,” Braidford said, adding that she looks forward to Monday’s meeting.

“I hope the meeting doesn’t say they don’t have the staff to handle this policy so they won’t do anything. It all comes down to zoning. In more cottage areas, more commercial areas, places where there may be hotels/motels of course that makes sense but dropping off (short term rentals) in the middle of a residential area where you have families living and working day in and day out is really uncomfortable Everything is in vacation mode but we are in life mode.

Concerns raised by Braidford and the KLRA about increased short-term rentals in the area include an increase in traffic.

“It’s a one-way, gravel road; if someone approaches you while you are entering or exiting, a (vehicle) must stop to give the right of way,” Braidford said.

There have also been more driveway speeding and maintenance issues, as well as noise complaints and property standards issues.

Area members are concerned about the continued use of the septic tank at such a high capacity. The lake drains into Charleston Lake through Charleston Lake Provincial Park.

From the perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of surveillance of some of these short-term rental properties in question, as well as the possibility of large gatherings, are also concerning. The same goes for liability insurance.

“It created extra wear and tear on the road, but at the end of the day there’s also a lot of liability insurance,” Braidford said.

“The way the private roads are laid out, because we own the maintenance of the road, if somebody were to have an accident on the road or something like that, we as owners are all responsible for everything damage to property or person on the road.”

As it is a private lane, residents pay for all road maintenance, as it is not something provided by the township.

“We collect fees so we can provide gravelling, resurfacing and winter maintenance,” Braidford said.

“The owner of the short-term rental (at 112 Killenbeck) had invited his guests to bring their toys, including all-terrain vehicles, and we are concerned about the impact of ATV use on our property and our private life. maintained driveway. »

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works for the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

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