Proposed B&B rule changes will allow more beds, require more parking

City proposing to allow more units in bed and breakfasts, require more parking after bylaw review finds existing system is 'non-conforming'

A review of Revelstoke's zoning bylaw turned up the fact that the current system doesn't conform to the zoning bylaw

The City of Revelstoke is proposing a series of changes to rules governing where bed & breakfast operations are allowed and how they are operated.

The changes make the system more permissive, allowing them in more residential zones and allowing for more guest rooms in them.

A Jan. 16 report by city Manager of Development Services Dean Strachan says that all but one of the existing 23 bed & breakfasts operating in Revelstoke are non-confirming.

The rule change will help bring them into compliance.

Key changes include:

– legally allowing bed & breakfasts in residential neighbourhoods

– currently, a maximum of four sleeping units are allowed under zoning rules, but the business licence restricts bed & breakfasts to two sleeping units. If the property provides a parking space per unit, a maximum of four units is permitted.

– requiring one parking space per sleeping unit

– the rules spell out a maximum of two parking spaces in the front yard

– a new rule will prohibit having a secondary suite in a home that operates as a bed & breakfast.

The changes are subject to a public hearing and input from the city’s advisory planning commission.

In April of 2013, the city unveiled a ‘tourist home’ plan that would permit overnight vacation rentals in select Revelstoke neighbourhoods.

That proposal fell on the wayside after changes were made in the city’s planning department later in 2013.

Current City of Revelstoke development services director Mike Thomas said news is expected in the first half of 2014.

“The issues surrounding vacation rentals are currently under review by the [development services] department with reporting to [city] council scheduled for late spring,” Thomas told the Times Review.

Councillors concerned about impact of B&B change

At their Jan. 28 regular meeting, two city councillors objected to the proposed B&B changes as presented, but were out-voted 4-2, meaning the proposal will proceed to a public hearing on Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in council chambers.

Coun. Tony Scarcella felt the system as presented was unfair to hotels and motels, who pay commercial taxation rates. The bed and breakfasts will use additional city services, and there should be a way to recoup those costs, Scarcella argued.

“I think they should share the burden, not the taxpayer subsidizing the bed and breakfast,” he said.

Coun. Scarcella’s questioned the approval process for new bed and breakfasts. Will neighbours have any say when new bed and breakfasts are proposed, or is it just a matter of getting a business license? When he heard it was the latter, Scarcella said he couldn’t support that system.

Coun. Chris Johnston said he was all for speeding up city processes, but was concerned the bylaw approval process wouldn’t provide enough opportunity for public input.

“It could be a significant impact on the community,” Johnston said. “I am wondering if there should be further public process and input.”

Coun. Gary Starling said the change was overdue, but was happy with the approval process as presented. “I see a few issues in here that the public may weigh in on,” he said.

In the end, council voted to move forward with first readings of the bylaw and set the public hearing for Feb. 25. Councillors Johnston and Scarcella voted in opposition.

The bylaw will also be referred for committee input.

There was concern at council that a public hearing wouldn’t provide opportunity for understanding and input into the changes.

Why are 22 of 23 bed and breakfasts ‘non-conforming?’

How did a situation arise where almost all bed and breakfasts in Revelstoke don’t jibe with the zoning bylaw?

City of Revelstoke Director of Engineering and Development Services Mike Thomas said a “recent review” of the zoning bylaw turned up an error made in the past.

Previously, bed and breakfasts were classified and licenced as “home occupations” under the city’s zoning bylaw.

The recent review identified the fact that bed and breakfasts are defined as a separate use under the bylaw.

“As bed and breakfast is separate and defined use, these operations should not be classed as home occupation,” Thomas explained.

In fact, the bed and breakfast use is not allowed in residential zones such as R1, R1A, R2 and R2A. But because the existing operations have a business licence from the City of Revelstoke, they are considered “legally non-conforming,” Thomas said.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Zuzana Riha’s last exhibition at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre was in October 2018. She has another coming up in November 2020. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke gallery exhibition opening coming Nov. 5

The November show will feature Zuzana Riha in the main gallery

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Most Read