Town of Cottesloe committee to develop strategy to regulate short-term accommodation such as Airbnb

Stock image.
Stock image.

COTTESLOE council will set up a committee to develop an overall strategy regulating all short-term and casual renting and accommodation in the Town.

“Short stay is a defined use in the town planning scheme, but we need something broader to tackle short uses, like students renting over summer,” councillor Lorraine Young said at last Tuesday’s meeting.

The committee is seeking answers to the wide issues of short-stay accommodation to replace the process of creating a new local law to specifically control the spread of Airbnb rentals which has caused complaints from residents.

A staff report outlined issues with the council’s ability to set controls, including having to change the town’s planning scheme (TPS3) to tighten or loosen any rules.

“A local law complementing the scheme would have more regulatory bearing, including enforcement powers,” the report said.

Residents at the meeting argued the scope of the council’s controls had to be broader and encompass many forms of short stays.

“The consequences of not upholding TPS3 has seen Airbnb spreading like and infectious disease,” Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers secretary Yvonne Hart said.

Cottesloe Airbnb operator David Sharp said the accommodation service brought people from across WA, the country and the world to the town.

Mr Sharp said there was no reason why Airbnb should have its own rules when the same behaviour was expected from all residents in any type of residence.

Cr Sandra Boulter proposed a five-stage process for the short stay strategy in an attempt provide a path so the new controls were developed sooner than an expected 18 months.

She said it could start with a legal opinion, followed by amending the planning scheme and introducing a local law, before a new building law and a change to local planning policy.

Councillors rejected approving a draft local law about controlling Airbnb going to public comment for 42 days.

They agreed to instead set up the new committee, which may meet for the first time in two weeks.

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