Letter: Revelstoke council needs to re-visit vacation rental policy

City of Revelstoke needs to develop plan and policy to oversee, police and regulate vacation rentals, writes Robin Brooks-Hill.

Editor,

I find it egregious the City of Revelstoke appears to have no plan or policy of how the city will oversee, police or regulate vacation rentals.

I urge council to consider, before approving any further vacation rentals, the following issues:

1) There are no designated areas of the city where vacation rentals may or may not be in residential areas.

2)  There are no guidelines regarding the density of vacation rentals in any given residential area.

3) There is no formalized procedure for rescinding a vacation rental licence. I don’t believe any licence should be issued without a clear process in place for the withdrawal of the licence.

The present approach of the city appears to be to review each application without any consideration of appropriateness for the residential area in question, density, or proximity to other types of housing such as B&B’s or secondary suites. The result is a higgledy-piggledy mish-mash that could lead to a serious decline in the given neighbourhood.

Recent experience in Arrow Heights with both legal and illegal vacation rentals on Cashato Crescent and McCarty Crescent has demonstrated the city’s lack of preparedness and inability to deal with issues which arise with vacation rentals.

Issues arising in the evening (which is when they tend to arise) leave concerned neighbours with no options. A call to fire department (multiple trucks parked blocking access to a fire hydrant) resulted in the direction to call the police. The police referred callers on to the Commissionaires. The Commissionaires are not available at night. Follow-up in the morning by the latter came after the parties in question had moved on. The proverbial horse was out of the barn!

Short of a 9-1-1 call (which would not be appropriate) nothing is done until the next day. Neighbours are left with no number to call the house owner and a feeling their residential neighbourhood is deteriorating.

Inquiries to the city lead to the information that the city’s response is only “complaint driven,” with no process for compiling or cataloguing complaints. There appears to be no policy and procedure established to attend to matters regarding vacation rentals.

Is giving carte blanch approval to vacation rental applications the best way to address the deficiency of short-term rental accommodation in Revelstoke? I don’t think so!

To my knowledge, only councillor Aaron Orlando has raised these issues when applications for vacation rentals have appeared before council. Nothing has been instituted to address these issues.

I strongly suggest council place a moratorium on future vacation rental applications until the city has fully worked out a policy and procedure regarding the location, density, and supervision of vacation rentals.

Respectfully submitted,

Robin Brooks-Hill

Revelstoke

 

Just Posted

Balu Pass closed in Glacier National Park

The National Park is east of Revelstoke on Highway 1

Junior B hockey starts again later this month, how are the Doug Birk teams looking?

The Grizzlies are defending KIJHL and provincial champions and hoping to repeat the wins this year

Highway 1 road construction continues, high 26 today

Revelstoke roads, weather and wildfires update

Motorcyclist involved in Westside Road crash

Air ambulance assists while motorists face lengthy delays

Second cannabis store in the works for Revelstoke

City Council approved a development variance permit for Revelsmoke Aug. 13

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Kelowna International Airport threat deemed non-credible

Normal operations have resumed following note of a suspicious item on board a WestJet plane

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke at stop

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Okanagan’s alleged “Deadpool” robber revealed

RCMP catch up with suspect following gas station robbery earlier this month

RCMP searching for missing Kelowna hitchhiker

Cody Kolodychuk was last heard from on July 31 and was thought to be hitchhiking in the Vernon area

South Okanagan pays it forward to BC Wildfire Service firefighters

Community members thank Eagle Bluff firefighters through Tim Hortons donations

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read