Noosa continues to look for the best balance for short-stay accommodation.
Noosa continues to look for the best balance for short-stay accommodation.

Party house uproar: Plan to silence unruly guests

Noise from residential properties not doing the right thing remains the main “party house” issue in Noosa, according to Councillor Amelia Lorentson.

Cr Lorentson last week failed in an attempt to change the newly-adopted Noosa Plan for short-stay accommodation to be a consistent use in low-density residential areas.

However she succeeded in having the council adopt a local law introducing a code of conduct to regulate short-term letting.

‘Divisive’ short stays debate drives wedge in council ranks

Councillor raises a new Noosa Plan ’rethink’

Cr Lorentson said noise was a management issue and should apply to everyone including residents, permanent renters and short-term stay providers.

“Everyone deserves the right of quiet enjoyment and party houses are just not on,” she said.

“My position on short-term accommodation had changed when I got into council and what I proposed by way of amendment represented that shift of thinking.

Cr Amelia Lorentson is keen to see equal property rights for all Noosa residents.
Cr Amelia Lorentson is keen to see equal property rights for all Noosa residents.

“That is, regulation under the town plan and a mandatory code of conduct.”

Cr Lorentson said she received “many emails and spoke to many people about short-term renting” who wanted some degree of regulation.

“The issues of noise was at the forefront of their discussion,” she said.

“What I disagreed strongly about was that in regards to regulating land use under our town plan, it had to be a level playing field.

“It was my opinion, that everyone should have the same property rights,” she said.

Cr Lorentson said she still had an issue with the adopted position that property owners in low residential areas who already engaged in short stays would be able to continue without having to apply to council.

Looking for an equal footing on short stays in Noosa.
Looking for an equal footing on short stays in Noosa.

However, a next-door neighbour who may wish to start up short-stays will have 12 months to apply for the same use and be forced to pay a $1380 application fee under the new plan, with the criteria for approval to be set by staff.

“I was concerned about the approval process and the legal opinions given to council and made that clear,” Cr Lorentson said.

“I also had a problem with having to pay $1380 for a right that I believed every resident already owned.”

However she respected the final decisions of council and hoped two things will be achieved:

  1. Council ensure that the minister’s conditions and proper monitoring are imposed and reviewed so that we can properly understand short-term accommodation impacts on our community and economy; and
  2. That council work with stakeholders on the implementation of a management plan for Noosa’s accommodation sector and co-develop the criteria for a code of conduct.

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