Rossland preparing for changes to short-term rentals

Rossland Council reviewed the new short-term rental bylaw Tuesday night.

Rossland City Council held a public hearing on Tuesday night, and while there were four items on the agenda, the only item that received any interest from the public was the new bylaw that will require the owners of short-term rental properties to acquire a business license.

“Bylaw No. 2633 — A Bylaw to Amend the Zoning Bylaw No. 2518” will introduce new rules regulating the operation of short-term rentals within the City of Rossland, which will be effective Jan. 1, 2018. As of Tuesday night, the bylaw is only one step away from adoption, which is expected to take place at the next city council meeting on Oct. 23.

Those who attended the public hearing and the regular council meeting that immediately followed had questions about how the city planned to roll out the new regulations and Bryan Teasdale, CAO and CO for the city, provided an overview of what city staff has planned.

He explained that assuming the bylaw is adopted at the next meeting, city staff will send out information in November and December regarding the changes and what steps short-term renters need to take to become compliant.

Teasdale explained that enforcement will not apply to those who take steps towards compliance, whether or not their application has been approved before Jan. 1.

But those who do not take the necessary steps and continue running short-term rentals after Jan. 1 will be contacted.

“We’ll probably send off a letter and if we don’t hear back from them anytime soon or they don’t show that there’s any intent to go toward being compliant with our bylaws, then we’d be looking at doing enforcement,” said Teasdale.

Update on Rossland Skatepark

Robin Strachan, president of the Rossland Skatepark Association (RSA), informed city council that while construction of the bowl section of the Rossland Skatepark is nearing completion, the RSA is also nearing the end of its budget for this phase of the project.

Strachan also explained that the RSA has gotten good value on the construction so far.

“We had a crew of guys in town that helped with pouring the… You know, the specialized trades to do the transitions and things like that and they’re saying, ‘This is a $5,000 to $6,000 park’ that we build for under $3,000 so far,” he said.

The RSA hopes to have the skatepark open before winter, but for now, it’s still an active construction site, and people need to stay out of the fenced area.

Rossland water consumption on the rise

Council was concerned to see that Rossland’s water consumption has mostly gone up this year.

With the exception of May, the city’s water consumption has been up from last year every month since March. In March, consumption rose 7.3 per cent, in April it rose 8.7 per cent, in June it rose 19.5 per cent, in July it rose 35.3 per cent, in August 13.2 per cent and in September 103.8 per cent.

Darrin Albo, manager of public works, wasn’t entirely sure how to account for the increase.

“We’ve got a lot of construction going on, so that would add to it. Some of the Spokane, most of it we took from Little Sheep [Creek], but when they’re using hydrants to get their water for compaction… But that’s a lot of water,” he said.

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