The Town of Sicamous had their 3rd public hearing on Dec 14th on the proposed rezoning Bylaw 1000 for short-term vacation rentals.. The District is referring the bylaw to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for approval and is expected that the new bylaw will be adopted early in the New Year, which means that home owners will be required to apply for a business license in the near future. The current Zoning Bylaw No. 101, 1993 does not address “short-term rentals”. However, interpretation does allow for the operation of tourist accommodations in certain areas. With a valid Business License, Short-Term Rentals are permitted in the following zones: C.1, C.2, C.3, C.4A, CDZ.06. If your Short-Term Rental is in an area where they are not permitted R1/R2, home owners will have to apply for temporary rezoning. Each short-term rental will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, factoring the neighborhood impact of the short-term rental and the ability for the operator to meet the conditions to operate.
Click HERE to view zoning map. You may click on your location for a pop up of your current zoning. If this bylaw is passed, there will be a grace period, which is yet to be determined. Regulations for Short-Term Rentals will be addressed within Zoning Bylaw No. 1000, 2022.
Requirement for a Business License
Provision of Off-Street Parking
Requirement for a Local Responsible Person who has authority to make decisions for the property and can attend the premise within one-hour in response to complaints.
Maximum occupancy limited to 2 adults per bedroom
Business license Requirements Each home owner in the right zone must apply for their own business license, for a cost of $95 dollars.
Completion of a Pre-Application Checklist (ie. smoke alarms & emergency exists)
Fire Safety Plan
Off-street Parking Plan
List of booking platforms that will be used
Requirement to include the following on all booking platforms: business licence number, number of bedrooms, number of parking spaces, maximum quest occupancy, maximum number of vehicles permitted
Contact details posted to District hosted short term rental map (for designated Local Responsible Person)
Requirement to provide guest registry to enforcement as requested, in response to a complaint
You can apply for your license HERE. It is a District priority to ensure short-term rental operators comply with all applicable regulations and operators may face fines if compliance efforts require escalation.
Additional Taxes Additional taxes will be levied as well over and above GST. 8% PST and 3% MRDT are required to be charged, reported and submitted. Guest are now looking at being charged 16% tax.
This additional tax will negatively affect our nightly, weekly and monthly rental rates as guests ability to pay diminishes with the increase in tax. For full details please visit the the Sicamous webpage.
How Will These Changes Affect Local Economy? I fear that the economy in Sicamous will be drastically impacted by these changes. Sicamous is a resort town that relies on tourist dollars all year round. Home owners who do not fall within the Zone and are not approved for temporary rezoning, may face the sad reality that they can no longer afford to keep their vacation home without the rental income. We may see fire sales of vacation homes as a result, which I anticipate would bring down property values in the region.