Short-term Accommodations


Short-term accommodation rentals can be defined as all, or part, of a dwelling unit used to provide sleeping accommodation for vacationing members of the public, but may also include persons travelling for business or work purposes. Most commonly these types of accommodation are marketed through web-based services, such as Airbnb, CanadaStays, or VRBO-style organizations. 

The success of internet-based short-term accommodation rental services has opened opportunities for home owners to promote vacation stays of their premises. In combination with a constrained supply of roofed accommodations in The County, short-term accommodation rentals appear to be highly popular.

The impacts of short-term accommodation rentals on adjacent properties, neighbourhoods, and the local economy can be both positive and negative. In 2017, County Council passed a motion instructing staff to report on the impacts of the sharing economy in the accommodations sector and to recommend strategies The County could pursue to address opportunities and challenges associated with this growing sector.

Project Timeline

May-July 2018

Public consultation conducted, including an online survey and public open houses

August 2018

Release of proposed draft short-term accommodation regulations for review and public comment

September 2018

Final proposed regulations to Committee of the Whole and Council

Previous Engagement Opportunities

Statutory Public Meeting Under the Planning Act

Committee of the Whole held a public meeting at 1 pm on Thursday, September 27, 2018 in the Council Chambers, Shire Hall, 332 Picton Main Street, Picton. The purpose of the meeting was to consider a proposed Official Plan amendment and a proposed zoning amendment.

Agenda for the short-term accommodation public meeting

Special Committee of the Whole Meeting

Mayor Robert Quaiff called a special Committee of the Whole meeting for the purpose of receiving a presentation and reviewing draft recommendations for regulating short-term accommodations in The County. No decisions were made at this meeting.

The meeting took place on Monday, September 10 at 7 pm at the Wellington and District Community Centre (111 Belleville Street, Wellington).

Online Survey

The municipality conducted an online survey in May 2018, which generated nearly 1,500 responses.

Click here to view the survey results.

Previous Open Houses

The municipality hosted two open houses on Tuesday, July 17 in Wellington and Wednesday, July 18 in Picton to gather feedback on short-term accommodations in the County of Prince Edward.

At the open houses, staff provided information and answered questions about the short-term accommodations review. Staff also presented the preliminary results of the recent online survey and discussed the strategies County Council could pursue to address opportunities and challenges associated with this growing sector.‌‌

Click HERE to view the presentation from the open house

Click HERE to view the information boards displayed at the open house

Photo from the short-term accommodation open house in Picton


Related Documents

The County strongly encourages respondents to read Short-term Accommodation -- A Discussion of Issues and Options

Click HERE to read the short-term accommodation discussion document 

Issue paper prepared by the Community Development Department, in collaboration with an ad hoc committee struck by the Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce.

Issues identification report presented to Planning Public Council on September 20, 2017. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Short-Term Accommodations (General)

    Do existing by-laws permit Short Term Accommodations?


    Current by-laws are silent on the definition or use of Short Term Accommodations.  No distinction is made between a cottage that is occasionally rented versus homes that have been converted to commercial accommodation rentals.


    Are Short Term Accommodations required to register their business with The County? Are they licensed, and do they pay an annual fee? If not, will they?


    No. There is currently no business licensing by-law in place for Short Term Accommodations; therefore, there are also no licensing fees at this time.


    A licensing by-law and corresponding fee is one of many options available to the County for the regulation of Short Term Accommodations, but these options are still being reviewed with The County’s consultant. Draft regulations for public comment are anticipated in August of 2018.


    Are Short Term Accommodations taxed as a commercial business? If a commercial business owns Short Term Accommodations, are they or will they be taxed as a commercial business?


    Property taxes are based on the tax class of the property. Some Short Term Accommodations like hotels or inns are taxed as commercial properties, while those that are located in single family homes and/or apartments would be taxed at a residential rate even if used for Short Term Accommodations.


    Ownership of the property does not affect its tax class.


    The County is considering various options for regulating Short Term Accommodations. Examining the tax classes of these properties is largely a responsibility of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and not part of the current review from a licensing/zoning standpoint.


    What is the relationship between The County of Prince Edward and Airbnb (or other booking platforms)?


    The County has met with Airbnb representatives to seek information regarding the platform’s use within Prince Edward County, to understand what regulatory mechanisms Airbnb employs, and how it works with communities to administer local regulations. 


    The County has no agreements with Airbnb, or other booking platforms.


    Why are other booking platforms not mentioned in The County’s discussion papers and surveys?


    The County has only obtained data from major platforms Airbnb and VRBO. There are many other platforms used by local accommodators in the County and elsewhere.

  • Licensing and Regulations

    How would licensing and enforcement work?


    Licensing would typically address the following matters related to on-site operations:

    • Zoning By-law Compliance
    • Fire Safety Plan
    • Responsible Person Declaration form
    • Liability Insurance
    • Property Management Plan (e.g. parking, waste containerization, etc.)
    • Site Servicing Brief (i.e. adequate sanitary services and potable water services)
    • Etc.

    Enforcement would involve fines in the event of the absence of a license or a failure to comply with licensing provisions.  The amount of the fine would be established within the licensing by-law, if passed.


    When would regulations or licensing take effect?


    The timing for implementation of any approved regulations or licensing has yet to be determined.


    What can I do if I have concerns about a nearby Short-Term Accomodation?


    The County’s current by-laws are silent on the definition or use of Short Term Accommodations; however, things like burn permits/restrictions, noise by-law requirements, property standards by-law and other local regulations apply to all properties regardless of whether they are used for Short Term Accommodation.

  • Bed and Breakfasts

    How might Bed and Breakfast establishments be addressed under new regulations?


    A bed and breakfast establishment is generally a permitted use in most residential zones subject to certain zoning by-law provisions.  If new regulations are introduced for STAs, such as licensing, a consistent and fair approach across all residentially based tourist accommodations will be important. Appropriately treating the various forms of an STA (owner-operator, B&B, whole home, etc.) regarding any potential impacts onto adjacent properties or neighbourhoods is also needed.


    What would happen to existing Bed and Breakfasts?


    Any new regulations will need to address transitional provisions. Legal and inoffensive uses are generally ‘grandfathered’.  Inappropriate uses may be prohibited.


    Are there existing by-laws pertaining to Bed and Breakfasts?  


    The County’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law currently applies to Bed and Breakfast establishments. It defines them as:

    Shall mean a single detached dwelling in which the owner and operator occupies the dwelling and which provides no more than three guest rooms for the temporary accommodation of the traveling public.

    Section 4.4 of the By-law provides specific provisions that establish the following:

    • shall be limited to a maximum of three (3) guest rooms per establishment
    • not be established or operated in an accessory building
    • one parking space shall be provided per guest room

    shall not detract from the general character of the neighbourhood nor be a nuisance in terms of noise, traffic, parking and visual character

  • Hotels/Motels

    Does the County have any plans to attract more hotel and motel businesses to reduce the STA demand?


    In 2017 the County conducted an accommodations feasibility study which determined that year-round occupancy rates may support a larger (60-100 rooms) traditional branded hotel or resort-type hotel. Staff has been working with various interested resort and hotel developers since then. A number of smaller Inns, motels and boutique accommodations have opened in the County over the past 3 years.


    Given the changing preferences of visitors to the County, additional hotel accommodations may have a limited impact on STA demand.


Paul Walsh, Manager of Planning, 613.476.2148 ext. 2025