Council approves short-term rental licenses, bans trucks on 9th Ave. North in final meeting
REGINA -- After years of discussion, short-term rentals in Regina will now be required to have a license.
In its final meeting before the municipal election, city council voted unanimously in favour of implementing regulations on short-term rentals in the city.
"It is time, we’ve been discussing this for about two years and that’s a long time to get things done," Mayor Michael Fougere said.
Anyone looking to set up an Airbnb, or any other short-term rental options, will be required to apply to the City of Regina for a license. The fee will be $100 for a unit in someone’s primary residence and $300 for secondary residences.
The fees will be used to recover the cost of the licensing program, which the City projects will cost $75,000 each year.
There would also be a $1,000 fine for anyone operating a short-term rental without a license.
The City has also capped the number of units in apartment or condo buildings that can be used as short-term rentals at 35 per cent. Also if the vacancy rate in Regina drops below three per cent, the City will stop issuing licenses.
Council heard from the Regina Hotel Association, who supported the licensing program, saying it levelled the playing field for hotels, who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Hotel owners have suffered devastating revenue losses since March. Now more than ever we need competitive fairness,” RHA President and CEO Tracy Fahlman said.
The new regulations on will come into effect on May 1, 2021.
Trucks to be banned on 9th Avenue. North
City Council approved a motion to ban truck traffic on 9th Avenue. North. between Pinkie Road and Pasqua Street.
Council heard from concerned residents complaining of loud traffic caused by trucks since the Regina Bypass was completed last year.
Residents also expressed safety concerns due to the road being single lane.
"Moving forward, the residents in that corner of the city can expect a little more feeling of safety in the coming days as this gets implement," said Ward 9 Councillor Jason Mancinelli, who brought forward the motion after hearing concerns from area residents.
The Saskatchewan Trucking Association argued that removing the road as a truck route would cost trucking companies revenue due to a longer route needed to get through Regina.
Mancinelli said he hopes to work with the STA to develop more efficient routes to transport good to, and through, the city.
"Going through this really revealed that a lot more thought has to be put into how they plan their routes and also how we move truck traffic through with other motorists," he said.
Administration will be preparing a review of the City’s heavy truck routes as part of the motion.
Bagshaw Residence receiving further review
City Council is getting a second opinion before designating 56 Angus Cres.as a municipal heritage property.
A local developer has applied to the City of Regina to demolish the 107-year-old Bagshaw residence, but council voted to designate it as a heritage property in August.
During Wednesday’s council meeting, as councillors prepared for a third reading of the bylaw, they voted in favour of a motion to refer the property to the provincial heritage review board.
Council will now wait for a report from the review board before deciding on a heritage designation for the property.