The County has made public an online map showing the location of all licensed short-term accommodations (STAs) in the municipality.
The map displays the addresses and licence numbers of STAs. Taking into consideration feedback from STA owners and operators, the map does not include any personal information of licence holders or their business names. Staff received a legal opinion advising that addresses where STA businesses operate, either exclusively or part-time, are not considered personal information.
The map is intended to help the public understand where STA businesses operate in their neighbourhood. Members of the public can confirm whether or not an STA is licensed. The municipality anticipates that the map will reduce the number of calls the STA office receives asking if a property owner has a licence. Staff will then have more time to conduct inspections, administrate the licensing program and enforce compliance where businesses are operating without a licence.
Several municipalities in Ontario make public a map or list of licensed STAs. Before developing the map, County staff reached out to the Town of Huntsville and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Both of these jurisdictions indicated that there have been no reported threats, harassment, or incidences of violence toward STA licence holders as a result of publishing the map or list.