Revelstoke city staff are proposing changes to bylaw and policy surrounding short-term rentals. (Review file photo)

Revelstoke city staff are proposing changes to bylaw and policy surrounding short-term rentals. (Review file photo)

City taking first steps to addressing short term rental woes

Revelstoke city staff are asking for direction from council on how to engage with the public

The City of Revelstoke is working to amend bylaws for regulating short term rentals.

In a discussion paper that will be presented at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Oct. 8, city staff are presenting results from an industry survey done earlier this year. Staff are seeking direction on community consultation prior to proposing bylaw changes.

According to the staff report, guiding principles for the project are:

  • protecting and meeting the long-term rental needs of the community
  • allowing a range of accommodation types that meet diverse visitor needs and support a quality visitor experience
  • ensuring short term rentals accommodations are good neighbours
  • ensuring equity among accommodation providers

At the moment proposed changes include modifying the definitions of accommodations in the zoning bylaw and adding conditions of use to the business license bylaw.

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Four types of accommodation are proposed:

  • bed and breakfast: resident provides temporary lodging, breakfast and access to common living and dining areas, restricted to four rooms
  • campground: holiday makers staying in tents or recreation vehicles for no more than a month at a site
  • short term rental: rental of a unit or portion of a unit for less than 30 stays
  • tourist accommodation: a building containing one or more units primarily used to provide accommodation for travellers for no more than 30 days, may include accessory uses such as restaurants etc., includes hotels, hotels etc.

The proposed conditions for short-term rentals require that the owner of the residence or a property manager must reside on site, they cannot be operated in conjunction with a bed and breakfast or secondary suite. The number of bedrooms would be limited and parking would be required.

Feedback gathered thus far found differing views on the proposed conditions. The focus group generally supported while the operators who completed an online survey did not.

Operators were against the requirement that short-term rentals be the principal residence of the owner or that a property manager reside onsite.

However, city staff found this condition is a key component of how many municipalities ensure users of short term rentals avoid violations of the noise bylaw, as well as ensuring proper maintenance of the property and adherence to parking requirements.

At the moment city staff are suggesting that the zoning bylaw be amended to allowing short term rentals in all residential zones and tourist accommodation be permitted in select commercial zones.

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The Committee of the Whole will be making recommendations to staff on how best to proceed with community engagement. From there staff will prepare a report with proposed bylaw amendments to be presented to city council. Should first and second reading be passed, a public hearing will be scheduled prior to third reading and adoption of the changes.



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