Columbia Shuswap Regional District wants Revelstoke-area vacation rentals legalized

CSRD wants property owners running vacation rentals in Rural Revelstoke area to legalize them under rules of new zoning bylaw.

Most of the approximately 40 vacation rentals in the Rural Revelstoke area are located near the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Most of the approximately 40 vacation rentals in the Rural Revelstoke area are located near the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort

There’s an estimated 40 vacation rentals operating illegally in the Rural Revelstoke area, and now the regional government is hoping to bring them under control.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is hosting an open house about vacation rentals at the community centre this Thursday, July 23, at 7 p.m.

“This meeting is multi-purpose. Education is the key component,” said Jan Thingsted, a planner with the CSRD. “Some people are maybe not aware that what they’re doing is not in compliance with the zoning bylaw. They may not be aware that their vacation rental does not comply. Some people are aware, but they’re operating anyway.”

The new zoning bylaw for Area B Rural Revelstoke allows for vacation rentals, but the property must have the proper zoning. They can have a maximum of five bedrooms and sleep a maximum of 10, with one parking stall per room and proper servicing for water and sewer.

Thingsted said that out of about 40 vacation rentals in the area, most are clustered near Revelstoke Mountain Resort, and almost all are illegal. He said only two properties in Area B, both south of the Shelter Bay ferry, are actually zoned for vacation rentals.

The goal of Thursday’s meeting is to let people know how to legalize their vacation rentals. The process is different for properties that are part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, and those that aren’t.

“We’re going to present options in terms of what can be done, what the timelines are and how the process works,” Thingsted said. He recommends property owners apply for a temporary use permit, which would allow them to operate for three years while they go through the re-zoning process.

Like the City of Revelstoke, the CSRD enforces vacation rentals on a complaints-driven basis.

“If you’re not conforming to the zoning bylaw, your neighbours should be able to say something about that,” said Loni Parker, the director for Area B. “If you’re negatively effected by it, you should be able to have some recourse, which is bylaw enforcement.”