STA Licensing

STA Licensing

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Short Term Accommodation?

Short Term Accommodation (STA) means a building or structure or any part thereof that operates or offers a place of temporary residence, lodging or occupancy by way of concession, permit, lease, licence, rental agreement or similar commercial arrangement for any period less than thirty (30) consecutive calendar days, throughout all or any part of a calendar year.

What does Short Term Accommodation not include?

Short term Accommodation uses shall not mean or include a motel, hotel, bed and breakfast establishment, tourist cabin or cottage, hospital, commercial resort unit, village commercial resort unit or similar commercial or institutional use;

Why licence Short Term Accommodations?

Short term accommodation has been a concern for Town of The Blue Mountains residents for a number of years. The Town has received numerous complaints over the years pertaining to residential properties being used for short term stays. Many of these complaints have been identified by neighbouring residents and include: noise issues (including public drunkenness); public disturbances; traffic safety and parking issues (including both on-street and on-lot parking congestion and blocked driveways); number of occupants in buildings; property standards issues; Ontario Fire Code issues; personal safety and security issues (including unknown and transient individuals and trespassing); vandalism to both private and public properties; loss of property values; and sustainability of public costs to the Town of The Blue Mountains and the Ontario Provincial Police for enforcement programs.

Another factor affecting the compatibility of short term accommodation uses is the form of management. A number of operations are strictly controlled by management agencies while others have minimal supervision from absentee landlords. This presents a problem with uneven landowner/lesser enforcement.

What if I purchase a premises in an area where STA’s are permitted?

In such cases the new owner is permitted to apply for the licence and must do so before renting the premises for periods of less than 30 days.  Doing so is in contravention of the STA By-law and subject to prosecution.

Do I require a licence if I rent seasonally or for periods of more than 30 days?

No. An STA Licence is only required if you rent for periods of less than 30 days.

Are there areas within the Town that you do not need an STA licence for short term rentals?

Yes, there are certain areas of the Town where you do not require a licence to rent for short term periods but you must satisfy other requirements. Certain areas of the Town are zoned to allow for Commercial Resorts Units (CRU) and these do not need to be licenced for short term rental periods at this time. Other requirements need to be met to be considered as a CRU in areas where permitted. Please consult us for further information. 

How do I obtain an STA Licence?

Refer to the Short Term Accommodation Licence Application Guide and STA application form for further information.

Why are some STA premises referred to as being “grandfathered” and what does this entail?

On February 4th 2008 Council enacted an Interim Control By-law to prohibit STA uses and in 2009 Council further amended Zoning By-laws 10-77 and 83-40 to allow for STAs as a permitted use but only in certain zones. Generally, a newly established STA is not permitted in a low density residential zone. Only STA’s that were established prior to the above date may continue to operate in low density residential zones (R1, R2, R3 and R4 for example) provided that they can seek relief from s. 34(9) of the Planning Act - otherwise known as legal non-conforming status or "grandfathered".

To qualify for legal non-conforming status an STA owner must prove that the premises has been operating as an STA rental since prior to the enactment of the Interim Control By-law coming into effect on February 4th 2008 and continues to be used for STA purposes to this date.

What proof do I have to provide to be considered “grandfathered” and continue to operate in a low density residential zone?

Where an applicant for a short term accommodation (STA) licence is declaring legal non-conforming protection under s. 34(9) of the Planning Act (“grandfathered”) the applicant will be required to submit evidence so that the Manager can confirm:

•That the property was being used as an STA on February 3, 2008;

•The nature and extent of the STA use on February 3, 2008 so as to determine if the use has changed or intensified since this date; and

•That the property has not at any time since Feb. 3, 2008 stopped being used as an STA.

My current STA qualifies for legal non-conforming under the Planning Act. Can I tear it down and build a new STA on the same property?

No. If the building is protected by virtue of 34(9) of the Planning Act (legal non-conforming) the non-conforming use is permitted to continue so long as it continues. You are not able to demolish and re-build a non-conforming building of the same or larger as of right. It is recommended you consult with a solicitor for a legal opinion.

I plan on buying a property that is being advertised as being “grandfathered” for STA purposes. Does this mean I can get an STA licence?

Not necessarily. You would have to satisfy the same burden of proof as any other STA owner claiming legal non-conforming use “grandfathered”. You should seek legal advice from your solicitor or lawyer in this regard. See above for more information on this.

I have concerns over the noise that is being generated by the STA on my street. This is causing me anguish and preventing my family from enjoying the peace and quiet which one would expect in a residential area. What recourse do I have?

In the event the STA premises does cause a negative impact or is, in your opinion in contravention of a Town By-law please contact the By-law Department at (519) 599-3131 ext. 249. For afterhours noise related issues, please contact the OPP at (888) 310-1122. For emergencies and pressing matters please dial 911. Alternatively you can contact the Responsible Person (RP) for that property. Under the STA By-law the RP is required to attend to and respond to all issues at an STA within 1 hour of being contacted.  Please consult the spreadsheet at http://www.thebluemountains.ca/sta-applications.cfm for a complete list of the responsible persons for all STA’s.

I am an STA owner and as result of a noise complaint at my STA one of my guests was issued a noise infraction violation ticket of $615 by the OPP. Are there any repercussions in relation to my STA licence?

Yes. A Demerit Point and administrative penalty system has been established to enforce the STA By-law. Five (5) demerit points are assessed against the STA premises for a noise violation and a $250.00 administrative penalty is levied against the owner once the accused either pays the fine or is found guilty at his/her trial.

Is there an appeal process in place where the issuance of demerit points and the resulting administrative penalty can be reviewed?

A person may appeal the issuance of demerit points and an administrative penalty to the STA Committee. An administrative penalty that is not paid may be added to the property taxes to which it applies and be collected in the same manner as taxes.

Are there any other infractions under the STA By-law which could result in demerit points being assessed against the STA premises?

Yes. Demerit points are assessed in accordance with the table below.

INFRACTION

DEMERIT POINTS

Fire Protection & Prevention Act/Fire Code

15

Operating without a licence

7

Building Code Act (construction w/o a permit)

7

Sleeping in excess of maximum permitted

5

Non-availability of Responsible Person

5

Noise By-law Infraction

5

Not providing updated information

3

Contrary to Parking Management Plan

3

Contrary to Property Management Plan

3

Not posting licence

3

Property Standards

3

Long Grass

2

Waste/Garbage Collection

2

Are there any other repercussions that result from demerit points being assessed the STA premises?

Yes, if the total of all demerit points in effect respecting a short term accommodation premises is at least seven (7), the owner is required to attend a Meeting with the STA Committee. The purpose of the meeting is for the Owner to identify to the Committee what steps and/or measures they intend on implementing so as to mitigate further instances of the levying of demerit points.

If the total of all demerit points in effect respecting a short term accommodation premises is at least fifteen (15), the owner is required to attend a Hearing with the Committee. After hearing the matter, the Committee may impose conditions as they deem appropriate for the continued holding of the licence, or decide that the licence be suspended or revoked.

I am looking at purchasing a licenced STA property which is for sale and would like to use it as such. Do I have to pay the full application fee?

An STA licence is not transferable and once issued is non-refundable. In cases of a sale of a licenced STA the new owner would need to apply for the licence and provide the deed, proof of insurance and property management plan. An internal review is conducted to ensure there are no outstanding reasons to grant the licence to the new owner i.e.; indebtedness to the Town. An administrative fee of $250.00 would apply and a new licence placard would be issued to the new owner having the original expiry date (2 years from date of initial issuance). An inspection of the premises is also required to ensure that the STA fire safety and property standards requirements are still being met.

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Contacts

STA Licences

STA Licences
519-599-3131 x240
stalicences@thebluemountains.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Short Term Accommodation? »»

»»

What does Short Term Accommodation not include? »»

»»

Why licence Short Term Accommodations? »»

What if I purchase a premises in an area where STA’s are permitted? »»

»»

Do I require a licence if I rent seasonally or for periods of more than 30 days? »»

Are there areas within the Town that you do not need an STA licence for short term rentals? »»

How do I obtain an STA Licence? »»

Why are some STA premises referred to as being “grandfathered” and what does this entail? »»

What proof do I have to provide to be considered “grandfathered” and continue to operate in a low density residential zone? »»

My current STA qualifies for legal non-conforming under the Planning Act. Can I tear it down and build a new STA on the same property? »»

I plan on buying a property that is being advertised as being “grandfathered” for STA purposes. Does this mean I can get an STA licence? »»

I have concerns over the noise that is being generated by the STA on my street. This is causing me anguish and preventing my family from enjoying the peace and quiet which one would expect in a residential area. What recourse do I have? »»

I am an STA owner and as result of a noise complaint at my STA one of my guests was issued a noise infraction violation ticket of $615 by the OPP. Are there any repercussions in relation to my STA licence? »»

Is there an appeal process in place where the issuance of demerit points and the resulting administrative penalty can be reviewed? »»

Are there any other infractions under the STA By-law which could result in demerit points being assessed against the STA premises? »»

Are there any other repercussions that result from demerit points being assessed the STA premises? »»

I am looking at purchasing a licenced STA property which is for sale and would like to use it as such. Do I have to pay the full application fee? »»

»»

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