Can we get actual action rather than lip service from our municipal government? Or should we expect similar results to our updated DCC’s?

Volunteers in the community, Council, and City staff have been hard at work to produce meaningful results to help the community achieve its collective vision with respect to housing. This is a challenging issue that can be complicated and requires coordination between all levels of government to produce meaningful results. Some action that has been completed of late with respect to housing:

  • Working with Revelstoke Community Housing Society (RCHS), BC Housing, CPR, RMR and other developers to get projects in the ground. CPR built 48 employee housing units, RMR is currently in the process of constructing two of three employee housing buildings, each containing 92 dwelling units (and in addition to these two buildings, modulars for construction staff containing 64 dwelling units).RCHS received occupancy in 2022 for a 24 unit apartment complex. Development Permit approval of Phase 1 BC housing was expedited and the City is awaiting submission of a building permit for expedited review. 
  • In January 2022, substantial changes to the Zoning Bylaw were completed to allow for carriage and garden suites, secondary suites within duplexes and row houses, increases in baseline densities, expansion for bonus density, and reduced paring regulations for development that can achieve walkability (proximity to transit and key amenities). This is all in effort to allow for additional housing development. 
  • In April 2022, amendments to City bylaws to regulate Short Term Rental were adopted with an overall goal of freeing up more long-term rental units in the community. Staff are currently enforcing the regulations through both proactive and reactive measures. 
  • In July 2022, a new Official Community Plan was adopted that included over 1,100 hours of individual volunteer time (in addition to broader public engagement. This document has far reaching housing goals (75% of new development to be multi-unit development) and has a broad land use strategy that supports rezoning for multi-unit development (i.e. duplex, triplex, fourplex, small blocks of row houses) in all low density residential areas. 
  • In August 2022, Revelstoke’s Housing Action Plan was adopted. The plan identifies three foundational actions and five priority strategies. Staff are already in the process of crafting policies and completing a comprehensive municipal land inventory to address two of the three foundational actions (An Affordable Housing Reserve Policy and Municipal Land Disposition Policy). These policies will outline how the City can contribute financially or through land disposition to non-market housing. 

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1. In your opinion, what overall effect do short term rentals have on the community's affordable housing markets?
2. How much of Revelstoke's housing issue is a missing middle problem? What approaches are being considered to address these housing gaps? (Low vs median income)
3. How do we regulate vacation home buyers inflating the real estate market? Is it possible to enact zoning restrictions in some areas to primary home buyers only?
4. Why not more mobile home parks?
5. How much is Whistler’s cash in leu for housing? Is it a flat fee or based on different metrics?
6. With employee housing, what happens if an employee loses their job or want to leave a job. Are they homeless?
7. If Whistler took 30 years to mature, how can we do something in 10 years or less without crashing in the process? What can be adopted now to get us started?
8. For each of the speakers who are sharing details of a well-funded housing organization; where would your community be without that dedicated housing entity?
9. What is the status of the BC housing project on Downie Street? What can be done to bring this to reality sooner?
10. WHA : can you expand on how affordability is maintained in perpetuity? Does WHA retain an equity share?
11. We need to develop micro-home communities in town and in the CSRD. Problem solved.
12. What consideration has been given to how gig economy workers with often fluctuating annual incomes fit into qualifying parameters for affordable housing?
13. How are you, as a Resort Community, leveraging OAP/MRDT taxes for affordable housing? Tools, models ?
14. What kind of anti affordable housing campaigning is Tofino experiencing and why? How are you handling this?
15. What can the tourism industry, which is driving up costs, do better to support affordable housing?
16. Can prefab/modular home construction play a role in affordable housing in Revelstoke?
17. How do you protect against base population displacement?
18. How did the communities balance the availability of housing vs short term rentals, bylaw enforcement costs vs revenue from OAP/MRDT?
19. For Al - Like Revelstoke , Sun Peaks is neighboured by resort land. Does the resort operator have a supportive role in creating affordable housing? If so, how?
20. Have any of the communities looked at infill density? (Carriage houses, zoning to allow for tiny homes in back yards etc) any success stories using that model?
21. Have age demographics been factored into future housing needs? A lot of baby boomers will be looking to downsize into the same type of units that younger
22. What do all of your organizations require from developers when they develop in your town? Ie cash in lieu, units etc ? How many/ how much?
23. Is it possible that we may never get ahead of the housing issue because so many people want to live in Revelstoke?
24. Has the city considered approaching the rail yard about building a multi level parking structure to free up city lots downtown for infill development?
25. Can we get actual action rather than lip service from our municipal government? Or should we expect similar results to our updated DCC’s?
26. Is there an opportunity to reduce DCC fees for the first X number of accessory dwellings developed in Revelstoke to promote faster development?
27. Would Revelstoke consider a speculation and vacancy tax to combat housing infrastructure sitting empty and help reduce market pressures from second homeowners?
28. Do your municipalities have issues with a lack of willing developers?
29. Instead of wanting to ban tiny houses and motor home, why can't we provide quality and safe version? For example having standards and inspections.
30. Paul mentioned the risk of developers turning their backs on us due to high development costs - why not try to push the limit? We are far from it.