It has been over a year and a half since the Bulletin covered the launch of the Aspen Proposal and we thought it might be time for an update.
Our work to start conversations about the long-term future of humanity is starting to attract some attention. Just over 20,000 people have now visited our website to read the Proposal. Our conversations with folks on social media and in online forums continue and we are learning a lot about how people think (or don’t think) about the future. We approach these conversations with hope and humour and gently encourage people to think about the big picture and the long-term. We understand that paradigm shifts take time.
We have officially established The Aspen Proposal Society as a BC registered non-profit and our core group of members continues to meet almost weekly around a campfire in Meadowbrook to discuss how best to carry out our work.
Our webpage has recently been updated with downloadable contact cards that folks anywhere can print and distribute to guide people to the site. We have also recently added an “Aspen Conversation Guide” which contains a bunch of suggestions about how to talk to people about the Proposal and start conversations anywhere. We have purchased small ads on Facebook in 10 different countries including Canada, the United States, India, Nigeria and Australia to let people know about the Proposal and drive traffic to the website.
If anyone in the Kimberley area is interested in helping out, we could use a few more creative minds. Experience with social media and online communications would be an asset. You can contact us by email at email@example.com
If you would like to learn more about the Aspen Proposal you can visit our website at www.aspenproposal.org
Aspen Proposal Society
Short term rentals
The RDEK recently approved the Short Term Rental (STR) Temporary Use Permit (TUP) Policy and is now accepting applications. It is problematic due to the following:
• The lack of long term rental housing was not adequately addressed despite the RDEK Housing Needs Assessment (Nov/2021) recommending actions including limiting where STRs are permitted in high tourist areas and requiring owners to be on-site when a STR operates.
• To operate legally, STR owners in residential areas must now apply for a STR Temporary Use Permit (TUP). These are not required in commercial and tourist accommodation areas as they are permitted in these zones.
• There is a 2-tiered STR TUP application process. If an operator complies with STR TUP Policy regulations and pays a $1,000 fee, they can apply for a Delegated TUP and staff will make a decision to approve or refuse it. If an operator does not meet the STR TUP Policy regulations, they can pay $2,000 and apply for a Non-Delegated TUP. The RDEK Board then reviews the application and will approve/refuse the STR based on criteria yet to be communicated to the public.
• STR operators are required to post contact information for a person who will be available 24/7 to address issues during a STR rental. This will be posted inside the unit and only sent to properties 25M(82ft) from the STR. This notification is not far enough as noise, lighting, smoke etc. travel much further than 25M(82ft).
• Outdoor hot tubs, fire pits and swimming pools are permitted. While applicants must describe measures to mitigate possible guest misbehaviour, there is no provision to ensure operators take the action indicated on their application.
• The STR TUP Policy was approved and applications accepted prior to an enforcement strategy being developed. It is still unclear how non-compliance and enforcement of the policy will be dealt with effectively.
• Up to 10 persons are permitted per Delegated STR. There is no requirement to provide the number of legal bedrooms and how many beds/guests each bedroom will accommodate.
• Parking requirements are inadequate. In addition to minimum zoning and bylaw requirements, the following off-street parking spaces are required: STRs with a maximum guest occupancy of 1-4 guests must provide 1 space, 5-8 guests; 2 spaces and 9-10 guests; 3 spaces.
The Province just passed the Short Term Rentals Accommodations Act to return units to the long term rental market. It requires STRs be located in a principal residence plus 1 secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit. Unfortunately the Act only applies to communities with over 10,000 residents. This does not address the housing shortage in RDEK‘s Area F. However, municipalities under 10,000 residents CAN ask the Province to extend the requirements to their community.
If you have concerns with the STR TUP Policy and its impact on your neighbourhood, contact ALL 15 RDEK Board of Directors at 1-888-478-7335 or https://www.rdek.bc.ca/about/board_of_directors/
Colleen Roberts, Chair
Committee for an Equitable RDEK STR Policy