Most holiday rental homes in Rotorua will not require resource consent if the Rotorua Lakes Council approves a planning consultant's recommendations.
Sigma Consultants planner Ann Nicholas presented her report on Proposed Plan Change 6 Holiday Rental Accommodation to a public hearing at the council yesterday.
Under the change, holiday rental operators would need to apply for resource consent if their property was housing more than 12 people a night or if there was less than one carpark provided for every four guests.
Nicholas' report reviewed eight initial submissions on the plan change, and five further submissions, all made in January and February this year.
Three submissions asked for the limit of 12 people to be halved to six, but Nicholas rejected this.
She said it was appropriate to allow two families to stay in rental accommodation at one time, and she said the majority of complaints to the council regarding noise, parking, traffic, outdoor lights and waste related to larger accommodation facilities hosting up to 30 people on a residential site.
Nicholas' report said, "Unlike motels and other tourist accommodation, there is no on-site management to moderate behaviour and the number of people accommodated may exceed the capacity of the site."
The only submissions that Nicholas incorporated into her recommendations were from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and resident Kate Wilson.
The regional council sought an amendment to ensure carparks would not be located over the on-site effluent treatment system.
Kate Wilson wanted to ensure that weddings or other celebrations such as 21sts being held regularly at holiday rental accommodation would require resource consent.
Fellow commissioner Gina Mohi asked what proportion of holiday rental accommodation in Rotorua could house more than 12 people.
Nicholas referred to figures from October 2017 which showed 8 per cent of properties on the Bookabach website catered for more than 12 people.
Nicholas said overall, "It is still appropriate most of these facilities [those accommodating up to 12 people] continue without the need for resource consent."
Mohi also asked if Nicholas had considered the proximity of these larger accommodation facilities to marae in her report, but Nicholas said she did not have that information.
Kent also asked if the rules should provide an exception for dwellings on large farms.
Nicholas said, "Sometimes even on very large properties the dwelling itself may be located close to boundaries."
She said these occupants still could create the same problems for neighbours, such as excess noise, experienced in urban areas.
Bookabach general manager Peter Miles was the only submitter who opted to present his submission in person at the hearing.
He said families were Bookabach's core market for short-term rentals.
Kent asked if Bookabach actively screened its properties listed to ensure they were not being overcrowded by holidaymakers.
"No but most property owners do not want their properties overcrowded," Miles said.