Revelstoke vacation rental owners unhappy with proposed regulations – Revelstoke Review
Short-term rental owners are concerned about proposed bylaw changes that would regulate their businesses.
John Bastemeyer and a group of short-term rental owners have started operating their vacation rentals illegally despite wanting to be on the right side of the law and are frustrated that they now have to comply with the new regulations, which they find it much more restrictive. .
“People want to comply, they want to operate legally, but they [the city] have walled in stone anyone who tries, ”Bastemeyer said.
“Five years ago, we went to town with a rezoning request,” said one of the other owners of the house. “We paid our fee of $ 1,800 and the demand has been there for five years now. “
If the city had zoned at any time during the past five years, it would have been exempt.
The current system obliges landlords who wish to rent on a short-term basis to rezone their properties entirely. The new plan aims to end this system, but anyone currently zoned in place will be exempt from these changes.
Currently there are 29 zoned vacation rentals, 11 more including Bastemeyer and associates are on a waiting list. There have been no zoning changes since 2017.
The aim of the proposed settlement is to improve neighborhood dynamics, free up long-term housing and eliminate illegal short-term rental operations, according to city staff.
If approved, a resident operator would be required 24/7 to address concerns, short-term rentals would be limited to secondary suites and the number of guests would be limited. Short-term rental licenses would also be capped at 300, although comprehensive development areas would be exempt.
Com. Jackie Rhind said the goal is to provide a clear framework for homeowners who wish to rent short-term, to do so legally. Four statutes will have to be modified.
Bastemeyer is not convinced that the new plan will achieve its goal of freeing up long-term housing. He said the rental rates for his luxury home would be too high to have a real impact on the affordable housing market.
The restriction on secondary apartments is one of the strands designed to target and alleviate the long-term housing crisis, Coun said. Jackie Rhind who originally proposed the change.
“The concern, as we’re balancing out a big shortage of long-term housing, is that people can turn most of their homes into vacation rentals,” Rhind said. “It’s a question of numbers, in terms of how many beds or bedrooms we will take out of the long-term housing supply if we allow it. “
Others claim it will have the opposite effect.
In a council report, city staff said restricting STRs to secondary apartments could take lower-cost long-term rentals off the market.
Stephen Jenkins, owner of the Explorer Society and the Quarter Master Eatery, worries this last-minute adjustment may have bigger implications than expected.
“We could encourage secondary apartments to be taken out of housing availability for our long-term tenant populations, including seasonal workers who often turn down job offers here due to a lack of housing,” wrote Jenkins in a letter to city council.
Another complaint about the restriction of the secondary suite is that it does not meet the needs of all customers.
Bastemeyer said many guests travel with their entire family and need more space than a hotel or a guest suite can typically provide.
The proposed occupancy cap of six would also affect vacationers.
Jenkins said it would further encourage illegal operations.
Another concerned citizen, Kirk Pitaoulis, wrote in a letter to city council.
“I would like to have the option of renting either of the suites depending on my financial and physical space needs at the time, and the tax situation. By limiting what I can rent in my own house, you could very well limit my ability to stay in this community.
While Rhind understands that people use their homes to supplement their income, she said this amendment provides a way to generate income without turning the home from a residential home into a business.
Bastemeyer and the other owners are frustrated at being subject to these new restrictions when the global development areas are not.
“The difference is we’re zoned for overnight rentals and we’re not,” said David Evans, developer at Mackenzie Village. “Which means people who buy in CD areas know what they’re getting, they know they might be living next door to someone renting vacations, that’s no stranger.”
Evans also said the village of Mackenzie is layered, meaning they can deal with any nuisances as they arise, through their own regulations.
Rind explained that while you may not be able to please everyone, this legislation has taken a long time to arrive. Part of the reason the restrictions are so tight, according to Rhind, is that it’s easier to loosen the restrictions, if necessary, than to tighten them.
The proposed amendment is due to go to a public hearing in September, the date has yet to be determined. This will be the last opportunity for residents to express their concerns or support on this important issue. Rhind, Bastemeyer, Jenkins all encouraged people to participate and express their views.