Victoria city council will consider new policies for an appeals process in regards to short-term rental application. (Black Press Media file photo).

Victoria to consider new appeals process for rejected short-term rental applications

There is not an established process in place for people seeking to reapply

The City of Victoria is looking to establish an appeals process for people who have had their short-term rental application rejected.

Victoria established a short-term rental bylaw in March 2018 that requires an application and a business fee, as well as an inspection as part of the process.

Updates to the bylaw mandate that short-term rentals can only take place in a principle residence – meaning that the owner lives in the shared building a majority of the time, and that a self-contained unit is not being offered unless it is usually used by a long-term tenant who may be away and give permission.

ALSO READ: More than 100 illegal short-term rental suites listed in Esquimalt

The only exception to this rule is for self-contained units in “legally non-conforming” zones grandfathered in from before the rezoning bylaw was put in place.

According to a report from staff coming to the committee of the whole on Thursday, there is no established appeals process for people who wish to resubmit.

Applications must be resubmitted every year. So far, the City received 646 total applications to date, and licence inspectors have approved 452 and rejected 70, with 111 short-term rental applications pending review or inspection.

Based on previous years, another 370 applications are anticipated.

So far the City has received nine requests for appeal, with the majority of people saying that they are not offering self-contained units.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria to start charging illegal short-term rental operators

“A policy would provide clarity for the public in terms of what and how council will reconsider an application, as well as creating a process that is manageable and consistent for council,” the report reads. “This process is designed to administer a high volume of requests for reconsideration by establishing an opportunity for a written submission to council. This process would conform to the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness.”

Staff are recommending a written appeals process, versus an oral hearing.

The matter will be discussed on Thursday, April 9.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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