Council continues its scrutiny of vacation rentals


By David F. Rooney

City Council continued to scrutinize vacation rentals during its regular Tuesday, November 22, meeting.

Since October 11, Council has been holding public hearings regarding applications for 125 vacation rental units. It has long been concerned about the potential negative impacts vacation rentals might have on the availability of rental housing stocks and on neighbourhoods that may go dark when tourists are not filling existing illegal vacation rentals. Council has estimated that there may be as many as 200 illegal vacation rentals in town.

While most applicants have been approved, there have been a few that did not initially make it through the application process. At its previous meeting it did not approve one application. However, that application has been resubmitted and a second public hearing as been set for Tuesday, December 20, in Council Chambers.

You can watch all of the public hearings by activating the YouTube players below. They begin at the start of Part 1 and continue until just before the end of Part 2.

There was a light-hearted moment as Assistant Planner Chris Selvig presented a report regarding an application for a permit to maintain a herd of livestock — 12 not a flock of chickens! — at 378 Highway 23N.

“We would like to contribute to Revelstoke’s growing local food economy by starting a small (hobby) farm,” John Lapshinoff said in his application. “Besides fruit and vegetables we would like to be allowed to raise small livestock, laying hens, meat birds, ducks and honeybees. Electric fencing would be utilized at all times to mitigate any issues with local wildlife.”
Through correspondence with staff, the Lapshinoffs further said that in addition to honeybees,they want to be allowed to raise a combined total of 12 pigs, sheep or goats and a total of 50 fowl at any time.

Some wag uttered a “baaa” sound as Mayor McKee announced the the nature of the application. Did His Worship respond in kind?

“The public hearing should be interesting,” he quipped.