On Revelstoke: The vacation rental dilemma

The City of Revelstoke needs to do a few simple things to address it's vacation rental issues.

At the end of last week’s four-hour council meeting, which mostly dealt with vacation rentals, I asked how many complaints the city received about vacation rentals this winter.

Dean Strachan, the city’s manager of development services, said they received five or six complaints relating to three different properties, however one wasn’t actually a vacation rental.

That’s a very small number given the rancor that emerges every time they come up. I’ve reported on the issue extensively, and they’ve been a hot topic at numerous public hearings and council meetings.

Part of me wonders if the whole issue is overblown. Sure, there’s a few bad apples, but for the most part, given the small number of complaints, the situation isn’t that bad and council shouldn’t be too reactive when it takes another look at the issue next week.

At the same time, I wonder if city hall isn’t hearing all the complaints. The problem is that the city’s bylaw enforcement officers only work weekdays, but most vacation rental complaints come at night or on the weekend. That means calls go to the police, who don’t track whether or not a noise complaint comes from a vacation rental, a private home, or a house full of ski bums.

I agree with councillor Linda Nixon when she says the city has a good bylaw. It just needs to be used and enforced propertly.

Three things need to be done. First, council needs to make sure they listen to the neighbourhood whenever one comes up for approval.

Secondly, the contact number for the property manager should not only be posted inside the rental, but should also be made available to the neighbours so they know who to call when there is a problem. At the same time, the city should implement times for addressing issues.

Finally, the city needs to find a solution for enforcement so that neighbourhoods aren’t disturbed by a bad group of renters.

The bylaw enforcement issue extends beyond vacation rentals. On Saturday, Stuart Andrews approached me at the farmers market to express his frustration with the noise coming from 24/7 crushing operation happening at a gravel pit near his home. There was no one available to respond to noise complaints except for the police.

Coun. Trevor English, who chairs the city’s security committee, says they’re looking at the issue. It will be interesting to see if they come up with a solution.

 

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

Just Posted

While Revelstoke has one of the oldest bear awareness societies in the province, the city has yet to implement a community wide bear-proof garbage system. (Submitted)
Saving bears: Revelstoke’s garbage dilemma

More than 400 bears have been killed in the city since 1986

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal). The polls are closed and ballots being counted. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Clovechok preliminary winner with 52 per cent of the vote

35 of 77 polls have reported and The Canadian Press is calling Clovechok winner

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

The Columbia River Revelstoke riding saw three candidates, Nicole Cherlet for the NDP, Samson Boyer for the Green Party and Doug Clovechok, incumbent, for the BC Liberals. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: Polls now closed in 2020 provincial election

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
One case of COVID-19 identified at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health will follow up directly with those who may have been exposed to the virus

BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)
‘Every vote counts’ in tight Vernon-Monashee race: NDP Harwinder Sandhu

Incumbent BC Liberal Eric Foster finishes election night with slim lead

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO)
UPDATE: One dead after Highway 97A crash near Armstrong, police watchdog investigating

The crash happened as RCMP attempted to stop an alleged stolen vehicle

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Most Read