Morris Village residents concerned over AirBnB operation

by Joseph Coppolino - EAP
Morris Village residents concerned over AirBnB operation
A petition signed by Morris Village residents concerned over a property being used for short-term rental is asking the city to consider stronger enforcement regulations. (Photo : archives)

A petition circulated around Granite Street in Morris Village is calling on Clarence-Rockland’s administration to look at enhanced short-term rental by-laws after several complaints issued over parties at one residence.

Signed by more than 20 Morris Village residents, the petition states the Granite Street house has been “a source of consistent disturbance and disruption over the past three years,” with numerous calls made to the by-law department and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) over that time.

Several residents who signed the petition said music from the house often goes well past the 11 p.m. cut off for excessive noise, and messes, like discarded red disposable cups, have been left in the street following particularly large gatherings.  Others say the owner of the property was confrontational and threatening when asked to turn down the music.

“We’ve all just had enough,” said one resident on the condition of anonymity. “It’s diminishing our quality of life.”

The petition claims the disturbances have become so frequent over the last couple of years that at least one neighbour in the area decided to sell their house and move to get away from the noise.

“Other residents have also been considering putting their properties for sale as the city has not addressed this issue properly,” reads the petition.

“We have done all that we can,” said another resident who called by-law in the past. “The fact that this petition exists shows just how bad things have gotten.”

The owner, who also wishes to remain unnamed, said he has had open conversations with his neighbours about the noise, always tries to respect the by-laws and does not allow parties when renting out his house on AirBnB.

“I don’t have any problems with my immediate neighbours,” he said. “I tell them to let me know if we are too loud and I turn it down when they ask.”

He adds he has a good relationship with many of his immediate neighbours but feels continually harassed by others.

“I have a right to live here and I follow the rules,” he said. “I am not doing anything that I am not allowed to.”

The signatories are asking the city to investigate the house in question, levy fines as necessary and review existing short-term rental by-laws. While the petition also calls on the city to investigate revoking the residence’s short-term rental licence, Clarence-Rockland does not have a municipal by-law in place requiring such a licence.

Councillor Sam Cardarelli, who received the petition on behalf of Councillor Kyle Cyr, said in considering the petitioners’ request the administration will have to balance the needs of short-term rental properties which are not a nuisance and use services like AirBnB for business purposes.

“There is a lot we have to take into consideration,” he said.

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