Coun­cils air short-stay con­cerns

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS - Matt Zis

THE grow­ing trend to lo­cate short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion such as AirBnB in the suburbs con­tin­ues to cause angst for lo­cal coun­cils.

Bel­mont Coun­cil last week granted ap­proval for a River­vale prop­erty to carry on as a hol­i­day home, de­spite ob­jec­tions from neigh­bours, while South Perth Coun­cil faces a sim­i­lar quandary tonight for a Kens­ing­ton house.

Bel­mont coun­cil­lors voted in favour of a six­month trial in River­vale due to neigh­bours’ con­cerns about amenity, noise and se­cu­rity. The area was de­scribed as be­ing home to mostly elderly peo­ple.

“The is­sue of AirBnB man­age­ment is a se­ri­ous prob­lem,” Cr Laura Cay­oun said.

A State Par­lia­men­tary in­quiry was set up last month to reg­u­late the short stay-ac­com­mo­da­tion in­dus­try. AirBnB, like other in­dus­try play­ers, has said it wel­comes the in­quiry.

Cr Cay­oun said it was an “un­happy re­al­ity” that coun­cils had to ap­prove change of use ap­pli­ca­tions for hol­i­day houses in res­i­den­tial streets to keep some con­trol of the con­di­tions to be im­posed on own­ers.

Mayor Phil Marks said rules im­ple­mented re­cently at a house in Fauntleroy Av­enue had helped.

“Some­times these con­di­tions put on can make a huge dif­fer­ence and I cer­tainly hope that is the sit­u­a­tion here,” he said.

Tonight, South Perth Coun­cil will vote on a change of use ap­pli­ca­tion for a home in Vista Street, Kens­ing­ton.

The ap­pli­ca­tion is for up to eight guests each night but at a pre­lim­i­nary meet­ing last Tues­day, Mayor Sue Do­herty sug­gested she might push for that to be re­duced to as low as four.

Both ad­join­ing neigh­bours had ear­lier spo­ken about how liv­ing next to an AirBnB prop­erty had af­fected the amenity on their street, with bins left out for days and back­yard lights of­ten on all night.

Bel­mont Cr Robert Rossi said peo­ple were clearly con­cerned about how short­stay ac­com­mo­da­tion af­fects res­i­den­tial streets.

“I am wor­ried that over time they will change the sense of place of our suburbs, with al­most a re­volv­ing door of strangers with no real con­nec­tion to the neigh­bour­hood,” he said.

Cr Jenny Davis en­cour­aged res­i­dents with con­cerns to com­pile a body of ev­i­dence, put com­plaints in writ­ing and call po­lice where nec­es­sary.

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