Municipality considers adjustments to short term rental policy

Council looks at increasing limit of temporary use permits per street, requiring property manager to live onsite

Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) has been holding workshops to adapt its short term rental policy and the requirements of having a temporary use permit (TUP).

Currently, the municipality permits short term nightly rentals if the property is zoned for tourist accommodation (R1-A or RS-1A), or if the owners have a TUP.

Most TUPs are issued for a three-year period and can only be renewed once. Now that some TUPs are expiring, council has held three workshops to discuss options for next steps.

Council determined the best option is to allow TUPs to be renewed with additional conditions to the existing policy. SPMRM’s considerations were presented at an Aug. 16 council meeting, but council decided to continue the discussion before making final decisions.

An important point in the conversation is that the new Official Community Plan (OCP), which is on track to be completed by October, will zone new subdivisions closer to the village as tourist accommodation and other subdivisions further out as strictly residential use. The plan is for new homeowners to buy in certain areas depending on what their intended use of the property is.

For those who need a TUP, council suggested that expiring permits would require a full application for a new three-year TUP. SPMRM is also looking to increase the limit of TUPs per residential street or subdivision from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

Additionally, council is considering amending the policy to require all new applications or renewals to have an owner or year-round tenant living on the property to act as a property manager.

The idea is that the onsite manager would be around to address any issues like noise or parking. This requirement would not apply to properties that have been previously zoned RS-1A or R1-A.

Council is also considering implementing a “use it or lose it” principle, meaning properties would need to be available for nightly rental at least 60 per cent of the year or the TUP could be revoked.

SPMRM continues to have conversations to finalize the amendments and will host a virtual public meeting for feedback on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m.

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