City Hall says it is addressing complex vacation rental issue

Following Council direction, City staff are moving forward with proposing bylaw changes to address the complex issue of vacation rentals at the May 13 Council meeting.

According to a statement emanating from City Hall on Friday, May 9, the proposed amending bylaw is designed to define and regulate conditions including public health and fire protection for vacation rentals in the single and two family residential zones.

The new requirements are intended to make operating a vacation rental a serious decision as the property owners will be required to rezone their property to a sub zone for vacation rentals. This rezoning will ensure the public is involved with the condition of neighborhood notifications and a public hearing with Council and the residents. Each application will be reviewed and evaluated individually and Council will have the ability to deny or add conditions and/or restrictions to the approvals.

Mayor David Raven, in commenting on this initiative said in the statement that: “Vacation rentals have been an ongoing issue in Revelstoke for sometime now. This bylaw will give Council the ability to consider public concerns, regulate conditions and address safety issues, one application at a time, ensuring fairness and accountability on all sides.”

The proposed bylaw defines vacation rentals as:

  • The licensed use of a residential single detached home or licensed secondary suite as temporary lodging (less than 30 days at anyone time) for paying guests;
  • Use is restricted to no more than 120 days per calendar year;
  • Maximum occupancy is based on two adults per licensed bedroom with a maximum of occupancy of eight people;
  • The property owner must provide a contact number or a representative, located within the City that is available 24 hours a day: and
  • The contact number is to appear on the business license posted in the vacation rental unit.

The bylaw will further regulate parking requirements:

  1. One parking space per licensed bedroom within the vacation rental up to a maximum of four spaces;
  2. No more than two parking spaces will be permitted within the front yard area; and
  3. The property owner will be responsible for ensuring guests park within the allocated parking areas.

The requirement for the property owner or operator to display contact information within the vacation rental unit, together with the clearly defined occupancy and parking requirements ensures that bylaw enforcement will be effectively and efficiently coordinated with the City and the property owner when issues arise. All vacation rentals will require a business license which enacts the condition of a building inspection and fire inspection to ensure that all health and safety requirements are met.

The proposed bylaw amendments will be presented for Council consideration at the May 13 Council meeting with the recommendation for the proposed bylaw to be referred to the Advisory Planning Commission for their review and comment.