Short-term rental (STR) owners in Lambton Shores can now apply for a licence with the municipality.
The bylaw, approved by council in June, comes into effect on February 1, 2023.
Applicants will need to submit proof of ownership, proof of insurance, a site plan, a parking management plan, a plan for fire safety, and proof of septic system maintenance and pump-out servicing if the accommodation uses a septic system.
Mayor Doug Cook said the annual licensing fee is $500.
"While the majority of the STR owners have no issues, an extensive survey of Lambton Shores residents recorded that many neighbours have experienced negative impacts due to parking, noise and safety concerns," said Cook. "So, the purpose of our licencing is to provide a balanced approach that continues to support local tourism while assuring that accommodations are safe and properly managed."
There will be occupancy limits of 10 people per rental and the need for an “on-call” person at all times.
The implementation of the bylaw has been a contentious issue in the past.
Over the summer, a group of roughly 200 short-term rental operators in the Grand Bend area voiced their displeasure with the rules and the suggestion of publishing their addresses.
Mayor Cook believes those concerns have been alleviated.
"Council heard the concerns of the short-term rental operators during the final phase of public consultation which, by the way, was very extensive," he said. "Rather than publishing a full list or map, for example, if there's an issue with parking in the area then a neighbour can type in the specific address to see if the property is a short-term rental. That way, the full addresses aren't out there for everybody in advance."
To ensure applications are reviewed within a timely manner, the municipality said application deadlines have been staggered in early 2023.
More information can be found here.