Revelstoke council heard from the public on the first two vacation rental applications. In both cases, neighbours were concerned about how the properties would be managed.
“Are we going to end up with a lot more problems up there? Is the owner going to be living on site?” Kelly Gale asked. “Because if so, I don’t have a problem. However, if they’re nowhere to be found, how is it going to be policed?”
Gale addressed council to speak about the application to convert a property at 1585 Birch Drive into a vacation rental. She lives behind the property, on Hay Road and said her biggest concern was properties being rented out to young people who don’t maintain them.
“If that’s what’s happened with people buying homes, I’m worried about what will happen if this goes ahead,” she said. “I’m worried about how this will be policed and how it’s looked after.”
Albert Gale, who lives nearby, expressed a similar concern, saying he would prefer to see the neighbourhood remain single-family residential.
It was the application for 1000 First Street West that truly garnered the neighbours ire. They spoke about issues with parking via the alley, but their main complaint was how the owners maintain the home now.
A letter from William and Linda Hill, and Jack and Rosa Siccia, expressed concerns with parking and snow removal. They said the parking spaces as proposed – two accessed via the rear alley and two off Charles Street – would pose problems for snow removal. Vacation rentals are required to have one parking space per room, and only two can be at the front of the home.
“The two lots coming off the back lane, with the deep snow, there’s no way a truck is going to be able to turn in from the back lane to that spot,” William Hill told council, suggesting that instead the parking be along Charles Street.
Others complained of the way the home was being run as a rental, saying it was the site of late-night parties. In a letter to council, Mary McDonald wrote to oppose the re-zoning, saying “this rental home has become akin to a house found in a slum.”
She noted there were already several motels nearby and that she’d rather the home as long-term rental as opposed to vacation rental.
Similar issues were expressed by people who showed up at the hearing.
The owners of the home said in their application they will live in the home while it is being rented, though some questioned that promise.
“The noise factor — if (the owners) are going to live there year round and monitor it, I’m fine with that,” said Paul Bennett, who lives nearby on Victoria Road. “The renters they’ve had in there, its been a constant noise problem at night.”
Council will make a decision on both applications at its next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 23.
Meanwhile, during the regular portion of the council meeting, two more public hearings were scheduled for vacation rental applications at 2077 Mountain Gate Road and 412 Fourth Street West.
Those hearings will take place in council chambers on January 13, 2015 at 2 p.m.