Short term accommodations back in the news

The controversy between the Blue Mountains Ratepayers Association and the Blue Mountains Short Term Accommodations Owners Association is going to be front and centre at council tonight.

The BMRA is slated to appear as a deputation during the meeting to discuss ongoing issues with the short term accommodators. Those issues include how license violations are dealt with, and what the association sees as accommodators who are over their official capacities.

“We feel that the licenses that are in violation of the bylaw, having less than the required 120 metre separation, should be cancelled immediately,” the BMRA stated in its notes for the deputation. “The motion as written leaves some doubt that revoking  the licenses will be automatic.”

As for businesses exceeding guest capacity, “so far we have identified that 79 units or 77% of these licenses allow more capacity than is legal. We expect that there will be fewer incorrect load issues on the smaller units but we anticipate there will still be over 50% of the 261 licenses affected.”

“We would like see a commitment that the Town would correct and reissue the affected licenses and direct the operators to adjust their occupancy levels accordingly.”

The BMRA stated there are 10 accommodators in violation of the 120 metre rule, “which to our

knowledge is all that have been issued so far in the Legal Conforming category and appears to us that

perhaps only one of the ten was issued correctly”.

It didn’t take long for the short accommodators to fire back.

In an email provided to the Thornbury Paper, association president Stu Frith disputed the allegations relating to the over-capacity issue. The email was directed to the BMRA and town officials.

“I wish to remind you that, at no time, since the Bylaw was enacted years ago, has anyone ever focused their efforts and attention on ensuring that the # of persons sleeping within a bedroom was ever limited to two persons. That is a failed strategy and a misinformed perspective. It has only ever been about total occupant load within the entire dwelling not dictating the total number of persons that are permitted to sleep within a given bedroom or sleeping space.”

So, please remember as you, once again, send out your assertions on STA Occupancy Load into the public domain, if you were in fact correct in your presentation of facts, that would currently mean that those in the TBM’s Fire Department, the Town Staff and the entire Senior Town Management Team and the entire STA Industry would be wrong. Please review your facts, prior to your planned Deputation and ask yourself a very simple question……….if all those before-mentioned stakeholder parties could be wrong in their understanding of fact and enforcement of and compliance with Policy.

We continue to seek a meeting with you to discuss any matter of concern involving the STA Industry, however, to date you have refused to have a constructive sit-down. We remain available for such a meeting.”

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