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Electoral Area B: Cortes – Zoning Bylaw Review

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is seeking your feedback on how to regulate Short-Term Rentals.

During 2017/2018, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) initiated a process to review and update the Zoning Bylaw for Electoral Area B. The Zoning Bylaw assigns zones to land and water on Cortes Island and specifies what kind of development and activities are permitted within each zone. The SRD sincerely thanks all participants for their involvement so far as we move into this next phase of information gathering. Before moving forward with this year’s relaunch and public consultation, it is important to gauge the community to obtain initial information related to Short-Term Rentals to inform further discussion not fully examined during the previous process.

A key consideration as part of the Electoral Area B Cortes Island Zoning Bylaw review is how the zoning bylaw will address Short-Term Rental properties. Short-Term Rentals are land use where a visitor occupies a dwelling unit for 30 days or less. Also called “vacation rentals,” this land use is often facilitated by apps/websites such as AirBnB or VRBO. According to the SRD Housing Needs Report (2022), between 2016 and the end of 2021, the number of Short-Term Rentals operating on Cortes Island grew from 41 to 82 unique properties.

Consider the following information as it relates to Short-Term Rentals:

  1. Short-Term Rentals reduce the number of long-term rental units available, therefore limiting the rental housing supply and often contributing to the increasing cost of rental housing.
  2. Short-Term Rentals provide flexible housing options for part-time residents.
  3. Short-Term Rentals in commercial areas can increase competition with hotel-style accommodation.
  4. Short-Term Rentals provide income to the property owners, both on and off the island.
  5. Building new Short-Term Rentals on Cortes can increase the overall housing supply.


Thank you to all residents for completed the surveys and submitted them online, mail or at the drop box at Cortes Market.
All submissions will be reviewed and next steps will be shared publicly when we’re able.