As Squamish faces a housing crisis and a pandemic, municipal council has moved a step closer to regulating short-term rentals in town.
On June 16, council voted 6-1 in favour of passing first reading of a bylaw that would govern the use of short-term rentals, such as Airbnb. Coun. Chris Pettingill was the sole dissenting vote.
Council intends to free up more space for local tenants in the long-term rental market, as the town was facing a roughly 0% vacancy rate just before the pandemic hit.
However, some residents have complained that regulating these rentals would keep homeowners from paying off their mortgages in a community where buying a home can be a crippling expense. Others argued it would hobble tourism — a major economic driver.