The City of Revelstoke will hold a public hearing on Feb. 22 to hear from the community regarding its newly constructed short-term rental bylaw.
At the council meeting on Jan. 25, the Revelstoke city council voted 4-2 to move on to the public hearing for this newly constructed short-term rental bylaw.
Opinions amongst the councillors were mixed, with councillor Jackie Rhind expressing concerns over a number of amendments made to the bylaw.
The amendments made by staff have outlined that rather than being permitted in all residential areas and regulated through a 300-unit cap, 59 properties adjacent to the Revelstoke Mountain Resort will be permitted to be used as short-term rentals.
Staff recommended a public hearing for bylaw consideration to be held to ensure advance notice for the 59 properties subject to the bylaw amendment.
Coun. Rhind remarked that limiting short-term rentals to specific areas of the community, namely in the neighbourhoods near the resort, would restrict opportunities for residents of the community.
She added concerns that putting short-term rentals all in one area of the community would keep visitors from getting a diverse visitor experience.
“This is troubling,” added Coun. Rob Elliott. “This is the government messing in the market. Distinguishing neighbourhoods, who can run it and who can’t, is discriminatory”
“If it’s not right, we’re going to hear it at the public hearing,” said Mayor Gary Sulz.
The new plan also allows for short-term rentals in commercial zones, including downtown Revelstoke. The total number of short-term rental units that would be newly created under the amended bylaw is 680, including existing or under construction buildings.
At the City of Revelstoke’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Dec. 9, 2021 city council decided to move forward with discussions regarding short-term rental regulations by opting to draft regulations for short-term rentals that would be permitted in specific areas of the city that have existing zoning to permit tourist accommodation.
At that same meeting, councillors spoke of the importance of preserving neighbourhoods and mentioned that allowing short-term rentals in any unit that met the requirements could lead to old homes being torn down and replaced with short-term rental units because of the potential financial gain.
City staff noted that this new approach allows for monitoring of the 59 properties which would permit short-term rentals immediately adjacent to the resort, and give them the ability to review impacts on housing, enforcement challenges, and impact on the character of these neighbourhoods.
Staff added that should short-term rentals be allowed in all residential areas, it would be challenging to revert this course of action should these neighbourhoods be negatively impacted.
The amendments made to the bylaw based on feedback from council and the public have also removed the restriction of 120 short-term rental days and changed the capacity limits from three bedrooms with six individuals to four bedrooms with a maximum of eight occupants.
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