Letter: Vacation rentals play important role

In response to the recent debate over short-term rentals in Valemount, I would like to bring to your attention, I believe there is a great demand for it here.  We live in a resort town, very close to areas that are in high demand for vacationers, and there is not enough Hotel/Motel rooms to accommodate the demand. We turn away people all the time because they cannot find a place to stay.  The campgrounds are full as well as all the B & B’s. Valemount, is growing and all types of rentals are in high demand.

In order to attract new home owners, developers and investors we need to encourage them that we are open for business and that we want this town to grow which in turn will increase the tax base and help local businesses thrive. Discouraging vacation rentals is not the way to do this. Having a vacation rental in your home is a great way to subsidize your mortgage payments and make the ever increasing cost of housing affordable. If there is not a management company to look after this type of rental demand then what a great idea for a young entrepreneur, as well as an independent cleaning company. We need to let potential new home owners know that we are aware of the demand and are willing to encourage them to come here and help build this amazing place.

I agree that vacation rentals work best when the owner is on site, living in the home and is responsible for the guests that are renting. They can request, on the various sites, minimum stays, no pets, selected time periods, etc.  It is easy to provide and easy to manage. This type of accommodations also encourages vacationers to stay – to come back and even to live. The current bylaw states that you have to have a minimum lot size for vacation rentals – I think it was written for the sledders in mind – only – there is a huge summer/European market here that does not require a large amount of space to park one car. I encourage a re-examination of this requirement.

I understand that there is a monthly rental housing shortage now, and without encouraging developers, new and various types of rental units will be slow in coming. We need to stay open-minded and find a way to encourage and promote. Vacation rentals is one important way of doing this.

Shirley Sander

Valemount, BC

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