There are hundreds of short term rentals available in Golden. Keri Sculland/Star Photo

Town of Golden council and staff drafting short term rental bylaw

The Town of Golden has been working on framework to address the increasing number of short term rentals in town.

Recently, council directed staff to create and implement a regulatory framework for short term rental management.

The proposed bylaw drafting directions outline that a short term rental (accommodation of 30 days or less) can occur in a single detached dwelling, a secondary suite, or within a duplex. However, the rental must be occupied by the owner during the rental time, and it must be the owner’s principal dwelling. The dwelling being operated as a short term rental must be on one title or real estate entity.

The draft states that short term rentals would not be permitted on a property with a detached secondary residence, like a carriage house or garden suite, and would not be allowed within a multi-family residential development.

This proposed bylaw will require short term rental operators to obtain required signage, license numbers to be posted in advertisements and websites, a business license, and initial life-safety inspections conducted every three years by the building official.

Council has indicated it is comfortable with on-site off-street parking requirements of two parking stalls per single detached dwelling, and one additional stall for each bedroom operated as a bed and breakfast or short term rental.

Originally, town council was considering a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for short term rentals, which would require owners to apply and go through an approval process before being allowed to operate a short term rental.

“Temporary Use Permit is like a mini rezoning,” explained Town of Golden planner and manager of development services Phil Armstrong. “It’s a process that is administratively burdensome.”

The TUP is a three-year renewal permit, and is more administratively burdensome than issuing a simple business license to operators. The Town of Golden estimated it would see 20 to 40 applications each year if it chose to use the TUP, and would require extra human resource requirements to implement the TUPs.

“If it was a TUP, you would need a dedicated person to handle it,” Armstrong said.

An additional full time employee would be required to cover the TUPs, and staff has decided not to move in this direction. The Town of Golden does plan to hire a full time employee as a planning technician to assist with development application times, customer service, and assist with longer term planning and drafting directions.

Once staff and council complete the bylaw draft, it will go to town council for a vote. After they are completed, the Town of Golden will examine the existing short term rentals and bed and breakfasts in town to ensure they comply with new and old bylaws and regulations.

“After the bylaws are refreshed, we will be taking a closer look,” Armstrong said.

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