The Village of Radium Hot Springs council wants to know what residents think about the prevalence of turkeys, deer and short-term rentals. Do you like them? Hate them? Want to see fewer of them in the village? Why or why not?
Surveys on wildlife and short-term rentals are going out in May to give the Village a broader understanding of the issues, the impact they are having on the community and what residents would like the community to do in response.
Councillor Mike Gray wondered if residents with short-term rentals would be reluctant to complete the survey out of concern about getting in trouble.
Mayor Clara Reinhardt didn’t see that as an issue since the Village is simply going on a fact-finding and opinion-finding search at the moment.
“Whatever we come up (with), everybody has to live by the rules,” she said, adding that she is eager to learn more about the proliferation of short-term rentals and to gather resident feedback.
“You can’t have short-term rentals in R1s (properties zoned for single-family use),” she said. “We either have to ban them… or we have to do some kind of regulations.”
Those regulations could include making it mandatory for rental owners to have adequate insurance and to pay municipal and provincial taxes.
Besides short-term renters, Council wants your feedback on other creatures roaming through town.
Mayor Reinhardt is interested in knowing if residents are bothered by the turkeys, deer and bighorn sheep that have made the Village their home and if residents find the animals dangerous. While options are limited in terms of how the Village could proceed, council wants to know how concerned residents are about urban wildlife.
In the case of turkeys, council also intends to measure support for management measures from public education to culling.
Survey notices will be included with the Village tax bills this spring. Renters and owners alike are welcome to share their thoughts.
“We don’t want to miss anybody,” Mayor Reinhardt said. “At the end of the day, we want to get as much input as we can.”