Lawyer alleges Oro-Medonte misleading community about short-term rentals

‘As a consequence of our productive enchantment, the interim command bylaw … is again in spot,’ states township official

A Toronto-based attorney claims Oro-Medonte Township’s existing tactic to beat brief-phrase rentals (STRs) in the municipality is “illegal and in lousy religion and desires to end.” 

Barry Sookman, who heads up the Oro-Medonte Association for Dependable STRs, reported the Ontario Land Tribunal ruling on the legality of STRs in Oro-Medonte in 2022 was clear slice. Ontario Land Tribunal vice-chair Sharyn Vincent ruled Oro-Medonte bylaw No. 2020-073, which sought to regulate shorter-expression rentals, be repealed.

“The Ontario Land Tribunal expressly dominated from Oro-Medonte when the bylaw was challenged,” Sookman explained. “Since then, Oro-Medonte has been deliberately misinforming the public that working STRs in Oro-Medonte is unlawful.”

According to Sookman, whose association signifies quite a few homeowners who rent their major or secondary residences in the township on a limited-term basis, Oro-Medonte’s steps are owning fiscal and reputational repercussions. He stated bookings are being cancelled and some visitors are concerned they may be breaking the law.

“A pretty significant proportion of our company are new Canadians,” Sookman explained. “They’re new to the place and they’re not absolutely sure what’s allowed and what isn’t. When they see the township is telling them their trip location is unlawful, they don’t know what to do.”

In accordance to Jenny Legget, Oro-Medonte’s communications officer, the township is respecting the OLT final decision and its communications courses are forthright. 

Oro-Medonte sought and obtained leave to attraction the OLT final decision, she mentioned. The enchantment is envisioned to be heard in January 2024.

“As a end result of our thriving attraction, the interim regulate bylaw 2018-071 is back in place,” Legget stated.

Legget stated there are only two places in Oro-Medonte in which STRs are authorized — Village 1 (Horseshoe Resort) and the Carriage Hills/Carriage Ridge developments — and the township is committed to investigating any and all stories relating to unlawful STRs.

The township adopted a zero-tolerance situation on STRs previously this 12 months and as a final result, has 28 qualities that are underneath investigation for non-permitted use, according to a new report to council from Curtis Shelswell, the township’s manager of municipal law services.

Sookman alleges Oro-Medonte’s municipal legislation enforcement is acting on way from council and has filed a criticism with the Ontario Ombudsman.

“My complaint was a ask for to open up an investigation into the township’s undue affect over bylaw enforcement officers,” Sookman reported.

In his criticism, Sookman also would like the provincial ombudsman to examine what he calls “bad faith harassment of regulation-abiding assets entrepreneurs.”

He also states Oro-Medonte is engaged in a “misinformation campaign” about STRs and its attempts to “circumvent” the OLT determination by means of its Official Plan amendment.

Legget mentioned township council is not authorized to direct staff. 

She claimed she would not remark on the grievance mainly because the township has not received observe of any pending investigation.