Proposed local law to work with new planning scheme to better manage short-stay accommodation

Council has proposed a new local law to set clear guidelines for the use and management of short-stay accommodation.

The new local law is proposed to complement changes to the most recent draft of the New Noosa Plan, currently out for public comment.

Council has considered the draft local law and sent it off to the State Government for review, prior to putting it out for public feedback next month.

Mayor Tony Wellington said the proposal to introduce a local law to help manage the issues associated with short-term letting was in response to hundreds of submissions received during the initial public consultation for the New Noosa Plan.

“We have clearly listened to the feedback. This local law, incorporating a code of conduct for guests, endeavours to strike a balance between the rights of local residents and those wishing to use short stay accommodation.”

The draft local law proposes to regulate the number of people who stay on-site. It will ensure a local contact person is available within 20 minutes of the property to manage issues associated with guests and that parked cars and rubbish bins do not interfere with use of a road or footpath.

The proposed laws also prevent party houses.

There will be an annual registration fee under the local law for short-stay accommodation, waived for the first 6 months.

Most houses that have been short term let for some time will have existing use rights. This means no planning approval is required for those already letting out their properties. However, when the new plan comes in, any new properties proposed to be used regularly for short term letting will require planning approval under the New Noosa Plan and registration under the local law.

Cr Wellington said the aim was to minimise the impacts of short-term accommodation on residents, which was a key source of complaints to Council.

“The proposed local law will go some way toward Council being able to manage these issues,” the Mayor said. “Whilst we accept that there are existing use rights for those who have been letting entire properties for short-stay accommodation, changes to the planning scheme also aim to protect housing stock for residents, particularly ensuring there are long-term rental properties in the low-density residential zone.”

“Importantly, the proposed new local law will only apply to properties that are short-term let without an on-site manager. The local law does not apply where a person lives onsite and rents out a room or two in their own house, nor where a home-owner rents their own home for a short period whilst away, nor where the accommodation is within a managed resort.”

“Essentially, the new rules are intended to improve the level of management of properties that are being regularly let, but do not have someone onsite to manage the guests. It thus aims to minimise the impacts on surrounding neighbours.

“Short term rental accommodation plays a pivotal role in generating tourism revenue for Noosa, which has flow-on benefits for local businesses. But we need to be mindful that this type of accommodation can also impact on the amenity of an area, particularly residential neighbourhoods.

“This is an issue we need to monitor, and this proposed local law will help us do that. Requiring any new un-hosted properties to gain planning approval will also help us regulate this type of land use.”

Council has worked with local representatives from the property industry to develop the local law and code of conduct.

“The input and advice from this group, particularly letting agents, has been invaluable,” Mayor Wellington said.

The proposed changes to the New Noosa Plan to make only new short-stay properties require planning approval is out for public feedback until 11 November and the draft local law will go to public consultation next month following State Government review.

Residents and property owners are encouraged to have their say via the website or by contacting the Strategic Planning team on 5329 6360.

16 September 2019

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