Cottesloe still talking about its Airbnb policy

Stock image.
Stock image.

A COTTESLOE Council committee to deal with the issues and legal questions in policing short-stay, Airbnb-type accommodation across the town has met once in six months.

“The Short Stay Committee has met, however they have not made any recommendations so far. The committee will meet again in the coming months,” a council spokeswoman said.

Last November, councillors agreed to set up the committee instead of getting public comment on a draft by-law to control Airbnb.

Since then, Fremantle Council introduced a $195 levy on the rates of properties that had short-term rentals in allowed areas of that port city, and after two years of debate Bayswater Council last month approved a short-term accommodation policy requiring owners to get planning approval if they had more than 10 guests.

To increase visitors, Wanneroo Council is seeking public comment on a proposed local law requiring registration of short-term accommodation for up to six guests.

The proposals also require operators to submit plans about how to manage their small businesses and the council having the power to take action if they do not comply.

Those new short-stay premises with seven or more guests will need full planning approvals from the council.

Currently, Cottesloe’s town planning scheme has a specific definition of allowable short-stay operations, including some on the foreshore.

However, Airbnb-type accommodation is sneaking under its radar and could cause issues with other residents in the rest of the town.

In its first meeting last month, the members of the Short Stay Use Committee started setting out the questions which will have to be asked of lawyers about the differences between historic and the new styles of internet-based accommodation and casual room rentals.

They include what is an appropriate short-stay use, what would correct use with the appropriate approvals from the council, what would not be allowed, and what is the difference between part-time and full-time rental using the new internet-based systems.

The committee’s eventual recommendation will have to balance the visitor influx created by these new forms of rentals and the right of the town’s other residents.

It is expected a request for lawyers’ opinions on the differences will soon be sought, before the committee proposes a strategy depending on that advice, after which the council will seek community opinion that would be reflected in any formal proposal to go to the council in the future.