New direction proposed to regulate TA 

The municipality is no longer proposing a blanket business license on all Tourist Accommodation zoned properties in Whistler after taking into account a host of community concerns.

Instead, staff will review different options to police illegal rentals in Whistler more effectively and efficiently.

They will present those options to council in the New Year, said Bill Barratt, general manager of community services for the municipality.

The original proposal, which called for a blanket license for all TA zoned properties in Whistler, met with community opposition last month at an information meeting at Myrtle Philip Community School.

Barratt said the blanket license would have made enforcing the bylaw easier by creating a level playing field.

But due to the public outcry to the proposal Barratt says they are trying to find another way to tackle the contentious issue.

"Is this going to satisfy the majority of people that seem so upset?" asked Councillor Ted Milner, after Barratt presented the recommendation to council on Monday night.

Barratt said getting rid of the blanket license might alleviate some community concerns.

"By not doing the blanket licensing which seemed to be a concern to the tourist accommodation owner, that concern is gone," said Barratt.

Councillor Dave Kirk asked if the community would be allowed to comment again on the revised proposal.

Barratt said there would most likely be another public information meeting after staff reviews the present licensing structure.

"It seems like a good example of the municipality revising its draft document after listening to the community’s concerns," said Councillor Ken Melamed at Monday’s council meeting.

Councillor Kristi Wells, who was acting as mayor due to Hugh O’Reilly’s conflict of interest on the issue, said this recent development is a true representation of the democratic process.

Meanwhile, as the municipality reviews its options, Barratt said they are continuing to enforce the current zoning bylaw which does not allow for nightly rentals (under 28 days) in non-TA zoned areas.

The municipality has been cracking down on illegal renters after winning a B.C. Supreme Court judgement in the Miller/Rivera case.

In that case a Prince George couple were renting out their home to co-workers and friends on a short-term basis although their home was not TA zoned.

After that decision came down the municipality began cracking down on the bylaw.

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