Revelstoke City Council is asking staff to include a cap on the number of short term rental licenses available in upcoming proposed bylaw amendments. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke City Council is asking staff to include a cap on the number of short term rental licenses available in upcoming proposed bylaw amendments. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke proposing cap on vacation rentals

If approved only 300 licenses would be available

Business licenses available for vacation rentals could be capped at 300 and limited to secondary suites in Revelstoke.

At their June 8 meeting, council voted to include regulations in a preliminary draft of the bylaw that will change how short term rentals are controlled.

The cap and restriction to a secondary suite does not include commercial development zones that allow for short term rentals (such as Mackenzie Village) or Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

City staff will later bring forward the proposed bylaws for first and second reading in the near future, where they will then go to public hearing.

Marianne Wade, director of development services, said the purpose of the cap is to address council concerns about the impact on the long term rental market and that it could be revisited and adjusted annually.

Coun. Jackie Rhind proposed restricting short term rentals to secondary suites with the same concern in mind.

Rhind said she wants to avoid the situation where one long term tenant lives in the basement and the rest of the home is a vacation rental.

READ MORE: Revelstoke vacation rentals might soon require on-site caretaker

Rhind added that it’s easier to remove restrictions after the fact, if they are not working out, rather than adding more later.

Councillors Michael Brooks-Hill, Tim Palmer and Nicole Cherlet voted in favour of including the restriction.

Should the upcoming amendment package be approved, every single-family home in a residential zone (R1-R4, RR) with a secondary suite, as well as single-family homes in commercial zones (C1, C2 and C6), could legally be used as a vacation rental, with the proper license and approvals.

At the moment, only those with zoning amendments for short term rentals can operate legally.

Currently, there are 59 licenses for secondary suites in Revelstoke, however according to BC Assessment data there are 129 single family homes with unlicensed suites in the city.

Single-family homes will require someone to live permanently in the main house, overseeing the rental of the secondary suite. For rental homes in the commercial zones, an in-town property manager will be required.

Staff said this proposal is a response to concerns from neighbours about noise and partying as there would be someone onsite to enforce rules.

At the moment staff do not know what a license would cost, however they will be preparing a business case. Under provincial law, the city is only allowed to charge fees based on cost recovery. So when setting the fee staff will be considering administrative and bylaw enforcement costs.

Wade anticipates hiring an additional bylaw officer to do the job.

Due to BC Assessment’s classification system, single-family homes with secondary suites are not required to pay more property taxes than those without suites.

Council has been trying to update regulations surrounding short-term rentals since 2016.


 

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