Airbnbs not allowed in town of Erin, mayor says following party complaints

ERIN – Following complaints from residents about a party held at an Airbnb in a neighborhood of Erin, the City of Erin posted on its Facebook page that Airbnbs are banned in the city, although no regulation supports such a ban.

The City of Erin posted on its Facebook page notifying local residents that short-term rentals such as Airbnbs are prohibited in the city. Bed and breakfasts and agritourism are, however, authorized and regulated in the city by an approved regulation.

“Currently Airbnbs is not contemplated by our bylaws. Bed and breakfast and agritourism are regulated and contemplated in our bylaws which the board has approved. Airbnbs is new to Erin; we have never had this before and we’re going to look at it and try to create the best bylaw to better manage it,” explained Mayor Allan Alls.

The Facebook post was posted Tuesday morning after the city received complaints from residents living in the Tomwell Crescent neighborhood about a party that took place at an Airbnb in that neighborhood last weekend.

“When we heard about the complaints, we informed visitors and owners of the Airbnb that it is not covered by our policy at this time,” Alls said.

“We have posted a notice on the door stating that Airbnbs is not allowed at this stage of the game until we come up with a settlement to cover this.”

The ban on Airbnbs is not currently included in any statute or city by-law. However, Alls explained that city staff and council are looking at how neighboring municipalities deal with Airbnb and the parties people are hosting within those units.

When asked how the city would enforce the Airbnbs that are currently operating since there are no city bylaws, the city’s communications team said in an email that the bylaws officer continues to respond. regularly to complaints and concerns raised by Erin’s community.

Several residents who were considering turning their properties into Airbnbs expressed opposition to the Facebook post. They believe that Airbnbs can contribute to the tourism and economic development of the city.

“We are discussing the possibility of opening one. Airbnbs seems to be getting bad press. However, banning rentals altogether is unfair to responsible landlords,” local Erin resident Seoirse Novohomem explained in a Facebook post.

“This town, especially the mayor, continues to promote the town and continually remind residents that we are open for business. But we have few accommodations available; we have hardly any overnight or multi-day tourism. So why punish a corporate group? »

Novohomem noted that if there are places where people can stay overnight, they are more likely to visit restaurants and bakeries in town; the beautiful landscapes and walking around the city center.

Selena Hall Vottero, another Erin resident, echoed Novohomem’s sentiment, saying Airbnbs would benefit the town as Erin is a beautiful place to visit and live as it has many hiking trails and wedding venues. .

“When COVID hit, more people came into the country to walk around and get away from the crowds of people. We need more tourists visiting quaint little towns like ours to survive. More wedding venues have also popped up in Erin, but we still have limited accommodations to meet the need for overnight stays,” Vottero said in a Facebook post.

However, despite several residents’ objections to the ban, the city still believes that agritourism and bed and breakfasts allowed in the city will boost tourism and contribute to economic growth without the use of Airbnbs.

“Once the water harvesting facility has been built, we are able to foster more amenities to boost tourism in Erin. However, tourism is one of five focus areas for the Town of Erin, as outlined in the town’s economic development plan, and it supports the town’s strategic goal of economic prosperity. We have a plan to generate more tourism without using Airbnbs,” Erin’s communications team explained in an email.


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