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Revelstoke vacation rentals might soon require on-site caretaker

A public hearing on the issue will be scheduled shortly
Revelstoke City Council is considering updates to the zoning bylaw that would allow all residential zones to have short term rental units. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

The city is proposing to allow short term rentals in all residential zones in Revelstoke.

Amendments to the zoning bylaw have been brought forward in the hope to make people legalize their unregistered short term rentals and give the city more enforcement power.

At their Feb. 23 meeting, council passed the motion onto the next step for public engagement.

City staff will report back on how many secondary suites are currently registered with the city, to give council a better idea of the impact the bylaw changes could have.

Originally scheduled to go forward to first and second reading at the next meeting, councillors voted to amend the motion, to slow down the process and educate the public on the issue prior to the upcoming public hearing.

READ MORE: Tim Palmer sworn in as new Revelstoke City Councillor

At the moment, short term rentals are legally regulated to certain areas in the city, if approved, this amendment would allow them in all single and two-family houses in R zones as well as residential use buildings in C1, C2 and C6.

However, someone will be required to permanently live in the home to operate the rental.

There are exceptions to the proposal. For example, the bylaw will not apply to Mackenzie Village as it’s in a comprehensive development zone and this proposal in only for residential zones. Other exceptions include residential units in commercial zones and Rv zones that historically allowed short term rentals.

City staff claim the 24/7 supervision will ensure complaints are dealt with in a timely manner and good management principles are promoted as the operator is a member of the neighbourhood.

Only one short term rental will be allowed per lot, in order to maintain housing stock for those living permanently in the city, said the staff report and there will be a limit of four bedrooms and maximum occupancy of eight guests.

There will be noise, nuisance, light pollution and traffic regulations to protect neighbours.

One off-street parking space per bed will be required.

City staff also proposed amendments to the business license bylaw for enforcement if a business license is not obtained or properly used.

If the amendments are approved, owners will have three months before the city starts enforcing the new rules.

A public hearing will be scheduled in the coming weeks on the proposal.

Staff have been working on this project for nearly a year, including stakeholder engagement and a public survey last fall.

READ MORE: City taking first steps to addressing short term rental woes



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