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By-election to take place in October

Council Briefs: Phase 2, nightly rental business licence bylaws adopted

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Whoever puts their name forward in Whistler's by-election later this fall, they'll have their work cut out for them in filling the shoes of late, beloved local Coun. Andrée Janyk.

"She had a tremendous wealth of experience, from having lived in the community for many, many years, having been a school trustee for 12 or 13 years," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

"She understood government process, and she had a tremendous passion for sport, obviously, but then she was also just really ready, willing and able to do hard work."

Janyk passed away June 16 at the age of 68 (see related story on page 13).

A municipal by-election to fill her seat is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 7.

A Chief Election Officer was appointed at the July 18 council meeting. Dates, times and places for voting, elector registration information and candidate nomination information will be announced in the coming weeks.

A by-election bylaw will be presented at the Aug. 15 council meeting.

Since the RMOW hasn't had to hold a by-election in almost three decades, the true cost of holding one hasn't been determined, but the expected budget is in the $50,000 to $70,000 range.

The money will come from the 2017 contingency fund.

The role could be appealing to those interested in trying their hand at municipal politics on a one-year term, Wilhelm-Morden said (the next full slate of municipal elections is scheduled for October 2018).

"I think it might appeal to people who are kind of tossing over the idea, but also, if somebody is out there who is well experienced or well versed in the issues that we're facing right now and they want to get in there just to help us complete some of the things that we've got on our table, they can step up, get elected and have a year to help us get those things done," she said.

But whoever wins the seat will have a steep learning curve, the mayor added.

"Somebody who is coming in who may not have council experience is going to be expected to come up to speed pretty darn quickly, because we only have 12 months left in the mandate," she said.

"But it's a great opportunity to get involved, and to make some decisions that will help the community."

PHASE 2 AMENDMENT/NIGHTLY RENTAL LICENCE BYLAWS ADOPTED

After hearing from concerned Phase 2 property owners and making some revisions, council adopted three bylaws related to nightly rentals on July 18.

The first — introduced May 23 after a lengthy review of Whistler's tourist accommodation offerings — originally proposed that Phase 2 properties be required to operate under a professional rental pool manager using a single integrated booking and frontdesk system.

Owners from Alpenglow — one of the only stratas in Whistler not already doing so — opposed the bylaw in force, saying it would crater the value of their properties and give too much power to rental management companies.

On July 4, council passed an amendment clarifying the bylaw doesn't necessarily mean a third-party rental pool manager, and that revenue sharing from rental activities is at the discretion of owners through their internal agreements.

RMOW staff will now work with Alpenglow owners to achieve compliance with the existing Phase 2 covenant, which states that owners are restricted to a total of 56 days of use (28 days in summer and 28 days in winter), and that for the remaining days the unit must be placed into a bona fide rental-pool company for rental to visitors.

The other two bylaws establish business licence requirements for nightly rentals in Whistler, and allow the RMOW to ticket those who don't comply.

Fines will be set at $1,000 per instance and limited to one a day. For more, head to www.whistler.ca/touristaccomodation.

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