Revelstoke explores allowing vacation rentals in all residential areas under ‘sub-zone’ concept

The City of Revelstoke is exploring allowing vacation rentals in all residential neighbourhoods – with conditions – under new sub-zone plan

Online peer-to-peer vacation rental platforms like airbnb (pictured) have made renting out your property easy and inexpensive. The City of Revelstoke’s new vacation rental strategy calls for a sub-zone plan that would require OK from council and likely your neighbours before you can legally rent your residential property.

Online peer-to-peer vacation rental platforms like airbnb (pictured) have made renting out your property easy and inexpensive. The City of Revelstoke’s new vacation rental strategy calls for a sub-zone plan that would require OK from council and likely your neighbours before you can legally rent your residential property.

City of Revelstoke Development Services department is proposing allowing vacation rentals in all Revelstoke residential zones, but individual property owners will have to overcome several barriers to get the ‘sub-zoning’ approval necessary. These barriers include input from neighbours through a hearing process, sub-zoning approval from city council, a special business licence and physical requirements like parking spaces and fire safety equipment.

All the details of the plan have not yet been spelled out, but this new, general policy direction got approval at the Development Services Committee April 10 meeting and will now head to city council for consideration. If they get the OK from council, city staff will develop the specifics.

What’s new here is a change in approach. In 2013, the city’s planning department proposed a ‘special zone’ vacation rental plan that laid out specific streets where vacation rentals would be allowed. An overlay map focused potential vacation rentals on arterial roads, and in some neighbourhoods in Upper Arrow Heights, near Revelstoke Mountain Resort. However, that plan never got past early drafts before being scrapped during a 2013 overhaul of the planning department.

The new plan proposes allowing vacation rentals more-or-less anywhere, but proposes giving neighbours and council significant veto power.

The plan is based on a sub-zone concept. Basically, owners of a residentially-zoned property would apply for a sub-zoning (otherwise known as a ‘use’). That ‘special use’ zoning allows for the vacation rental.

Development Services department manager Dean Strachan developed the proposal. “This plan is designed around giving council as much authority as possible and as much autonomy on each application as possible,” he told the development services committee at their April 10 meeting.

In response to a question, he said he felt it’s premature to develop an over-arching plan for vacation rentals in Revelstoke. “At this point I think it’s almost jumping over three steps to take it to that level,” Strachan said, adding the benefit of this plan is to see how vacation rental applications progress over time, then use that as a guideline for a more comprehensive plan.

Strachan said the plan is to charge a significant business licence fee – he mentioned $200 at the April 10 meeting – as an example of the cost range. Another concept is limiting the number of days a property can be used as a vacation rental in a given year.

Provisions could be included to revoke the vacation rental sub-zone status if it’s not used for that purpose for a period of time.

So, what happens next? Council will likely get a report on the general direction of the plan in the coming weeks. After that, Development Services department staff will develop the details in the coming weeks and months, and then it comes back to council for further consideration, and adoption.

If you want to have your say on the plan, you’ll need to contact city staff and/or city council between now and then.

The change is part of a new zoning review strategy revealed by Strachan at the same meeting. Put simply, the Development Services department plans to overhaul the city’s zoning bylaws on a piece-by-piece basis, instead of as part of a comprehensive plan.

The City of Revelstoke tried and failed to implement a ‘Unified Development Bylaw’ between about 2009 and 2013, but the novel system fell short of implementation over concerns including cost, legal exposure and changes in the macroeconomic climate that stalled development in the city.

 

 

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

Just Posted

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Paramedic Jason Manuel, dressed in PPE, inspects an ambulance at Station 341 on Nov. 30. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Second wave, twice the anxiety; Okanagan paramedics reflect on pandemic from the front line

‘I don’t know who that (next) person is going to be, I don’t want it to be me or my family’: Paramedic

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

Begbie View Elementary has put together a cookbook of 187 recipes from the student and staff community to help fundraise for a natural playground. (Submitted)
New Revelstoke cookbook launched to raise funds for local school

The recipe book is a fundraiser for a natural playground at Begbie View Elementary

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Police responded to W.L. Seaton Secondary after reports of young man attempting to smash car windows in the student parking lot on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Facebook)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

Member of W.L. Seaton Secondary exposure Nov. 26

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP was called to a report of a fight at an Okanagan Landing Halloween party Saturday, Oct. 31, but issued the homeowner a ticket  under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act for having too many people at the party. (Black Press file photo)
West Kelowna man, dog rescued from carbon monoxide poisoning

The man was quickly transported to the hospital

The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)
Fire and explosion wakes Keremeos residents

A motorhome was consumed and a boat severely damaged after the 3 a.m. fire

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

The former BC Tree Fruits office building at 1473 Water Street has been sold. (Contributed)
BC Tree Fruits downtown Kelowna office sold for $7.5M

Historic building sold for 44 per cent more than the $5.2-million asking price

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Margaret Holm
HOLM: Better Bicycle Lanes

Margaret Holm writes about solutions to global warming

Most Read