City of South Perth draft short-term accommodation policy lacks safeguards, says resident

Stock image.
Stock image.

A NEW draft planning policy allowing short-term accommodation in the City of South Perth lacks community safeguards according to resident Jackie Hair.

The City’s policy P350.18 will apply to a range of land uses defined in the City’s Town Planning Scheme 6 (TPS6) including hotels, tourist accommodation and bed and breakfasts, and can be applied to all land zones where short-term accommodation uses are identified as discretionary or permitted.

Consequently, landowners will be permitted to rent out their property as self-contained visitor accommodation for up to three months in any 12-month period.

Mrs Hair said her opposition to the policy was not based on fear or speculation surrounding how such changes could potentially impact her amenity but on actually experiencing the impact from her neighbour’s five-bedroom Airbnb listed property.

“It’s one thing to rent out a room while also in residence to monitor guests’ activities but quite a different proposition when an entire five-bedroom house changes hands every few days with self check-in,” she said.

“Over the past few months our neighbour’s (house) has been a revolving door of strangers; up to 16 young males with four rental cars have occupied the dwelling.

“We understand the motivation of the City in increasing the density of tourist accommodation thereby increasing spending and generating increased taxes but as an absolute minimum, every resident faced with this proposition should be given the opportunity to decide whether they wish to give expressed consent to their neighbour operating short-stay accommodation on a case-by-case basis.”

As part of the draft policy, applicants of short-term accommodation will be required to submit a management plan, which should address occupancy, noise abatement, duration of stay, guest behaviour, management of check-in and departures and management of guest parking.

Mayor Sue Doherty said the City could take compliance action to enforce the Management Plan.

“The City is able to pursue legal action if the operator fails to comply with the direction of the City to comply with a Management Plan,” she said.

“Each proposal not meeting the policy criteria will be assessed on their individual circumstances and merits at the time of making the decision, in particular the suitability of the proposed short term accommodation use in the location and impacts on the surrounding locality

“In cases where a land use class requires public consultation under TPS6, or the City’s Community Engagement policy, consultation will occur prior to the applications determination.”

The Town of Victoria Park has a similar local planning policy, which provides guidance for the location and operation of short-term accommodation.

Chief executive Anthony Vuleta said there had been about 15 applications with the Town for short-stay accommodation in the past three years.

Policy P350.18 is open for public comment until February 7.

Visit https://yoursay.southperth.wa.gov.au.

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