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.

 

Just Posted

Turn it up

RAC asks council for summer Street Festival funding increase to hire sound technician

City of Revelstoke passes fire services bylaw

We are doing our end of the paperwork to be ready just in case this comes to fruition: mayor

Suspect in October standoff killed himself: Revelstoke RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in Calgary homicide of roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Revy. Set. Grow! to build local food system

Weekend of farm-focused events will be hosted in Revelstoke Jan 13-14

CP Holiday Train to stop in Revelstoke Thursday

Event takes place in the afternoon with Alan Doyle and The Beautiful Band performing

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

Coping with a Heat rash

Fourteen goals in four nights helps ease the pain of injured teammates

Changes for Chase Grade 7s considered

School district says no move will take place without parent consultation.

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Performance embodies true meaning of Christmas

Caravan Farm Theatre presents O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi by Maristella Roca until Dec. 31

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

SPCA seizes 74 animals from Barriere property

Constables removed sheep, piglets, chickens and more

Most Read