Columbia Valley Pioneer Staff

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has adopted a policy to regulate short term rental (STR) accommodation through temporary use permits within its six electoral areas.

“The board recognizes the importance of regulating STRs within the rural parts of the RDEK and adoption of this policy will move us one step closer to achieving that goal,” said board chair Rob Gay.

He noted that staff has been working on the draft policy since earlier this spring, and in addition to consultation with STR operators and other groups, there have been two separate public comment periods to gather as much feedback from the public as possible.

The board requested two key changes related to maximum density and fees. It has set the maximum number of guests for overnight accommodation to 10. Anyone wishing to apply for a higher density would need the board’s approval. It is also recommending fees for applications (that can be delegated to staff for approval) be set at $1,000 for the three-year period. Fees for applications that cannot be delegated to staff and must go to the board are set at $2,000.

“The adoption of the policy is an important step in the process, as it provides guidance and direction,” said Gay. “There are still several milestones that need to be achieved prior to the RDEK being able to accept applications and staff will now begin working on those next steps.”

These include developing guidelines around compliance and enforcement; establishing the application process, which will include everything from creation of the application forms to a comprehensive education and awareness campaign; and, establishing the procedures for internal review.

The intake for short term rental Temporary Use Permits is anticipated to begin this fall.