Ma­gog mayor takes heat over AirBnB rentals

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

On Mon­day, the As­so­ci­a­tion des gites touris­tiques Ma­gog-Or­ford (AGTMO) sent a no­tice to Ma­gog mayor Vicki May Hamm crit­i­ciz­ing her in­ac­tion when it comes to il­le­gal prop­erty rentals. Ac­cord­ing to the AGTMO, more than seventy com­plaints about AirBnB type rentals were made to the city in the last year.

Later on Mon­day, af­ter re­ceiv­ing the no­tice, the mayor re­leased a state­ment, first not­ing that an ar­ti­cle about the AGTMO send­ing a no­tice to the city ap­peared in a lo­cal French lan­guage news­pa­per be­fore the city re­ceived the no­tice.

Al­though the mayor con­firmed that she hoped that the prob­lem would be treated by the MRC Mem­phrem­a­gog since all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are be­ing af­fected by the il­le­gal lodg­ing phe­nom­ena, she also said that the dossier was mov­ing and dif­fer­ent teams with the City of Ma­gog have been work­ing se­ri­ously on it for sev­eral weeks. An ac­tion plan to solve the prob­lem will be pre­sented soon at the mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil.

She added: “For sev­eral months, I have been in com­mu­ni­ca­tion on a reg­u­lar ba­sis with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of AGTMO. We ex­change emails, have tele­phone con­ver­sa­tions and follow up on com­plaints that we have re­ceived. More re­cently, at the Septem­ber 19th coun­cil meet­ing, I pub­licly re­as­sured an AGTMO rep­re­sen­ta­tive that the city was work­ing on the file, that it takes it se­ri­ously and we will meet soon with the Di­vi­sion de per­mis et in­spec­tion. Those present seemed sat­is­fied with my re­sponse.”

She con­cluded by say­ing: “It is a file that is more com­plex than it seems. It won’t be enough to make by-laws to re­solve a prob­lem like this. We need not only the ca­pac­ity but also the power to make sure the by-laws are re­spected. We in­tend to con­tinue to make the nec­es­sary ef­forts to counter the prob­lem of il­le­gal lodg­ing in Ma­gog and we will soon be ready to sub­mit the propo­si­tions and the means to get there.”

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