Revelstoke council approved three out of four vacation rental applications that went in front of them last week.
They were the first four of many new ones to go in front of council after the City of Revelstoke changed its vacation rental policy to put a cap on the number allowed and to crackdown on illegal rentals.
Each council vote was preceded by a public hearing, and demonstrated some of the challenges council faces.
The first one, and the only one not approved, was an application for a vacation rental at 2041 Mountain Gate Road. The application wasn’t rejected because the applicants were bad neighbours or anything like that — it was turned down because of a covenant on the property regarding parking.
The existence of that covenant led to questions from council if the city would face any liability if the vacation rental was approved. While Allan Chabot, the city’s chief administrative officer, said there was no risk to the city, councillors Connie Brothers and Gary Sulz, and Mayor McKee voted against it.
Still, McKee indicated he would bring the application back for another vote once questions about the covenant are answered.
The second application was by Alex Cadotte for his home on Aspen Crescent. He applied to rent out the main part of his house, while he lived in a suite above the garage. The public hearing led to an ugly exchange between Cadotte and two neighbours, one who accused him of holding late-night parties and being generally unpleasant. Cadotte’s girlfriend responded by bringing up issues with the neighbour’s barking dog.
In the end, Cadotte said it wasn’t his intention to run a party rental place. “I’ll be in the suite. I don’t want people partying all night,” he said.
Council gave him the benefit of the doubt and approved his application. “The complaints I heard from other neighbours are about parties that are unrelated to the vacation rental use,” said coun. Aaron Orlando. “I do hope that under the new regime we will be more proactive on the enforcement issue.”
The third application was to re-zone a vacant property in a sub-division on Lee Road off Airport Way. It was approved unanimously. “Anybody moving in would know there’s a vacation rental,” said Mayor Mark McKee.
The final application was to turn a home at 102 Fourth St. East into a vacation rental. The home was operated as the Great White Buffalo Bed & Breakfast, and council supported the application.
Council also have first and second reading to five new vacation rental applications. They are for homes at 1655 Melnyk Road, 1780 Illecillewaet Road, 1657 Mason Road, 221 Second St. East, and 410 Cedar Street.
The last one is by councillor Scott Duke. It is his second attempt to get the property re-zoned after being forced to withdraw the application earlier this year after putting himself in conflict by granting an interview to the Review on the issue of vacation rentals. Duke co-owns a vacation rental management company and has recused himself from every council discussion on the issue.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said councillors Trevor English, Linda Nixon and Aaron Orland voted against the vacation rental at 2041 Mountain Gate Road. In fact, they voted for it, while Mayor Mark McKee and couns. Gary Sulz and Connie Brothers voted against it.