Housing legislation FAQs

Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing

You can check the Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing map.  

If your property is in a restricted area where the provincial rules apply, as of June 30, 2024, you will be allowed to develop residential units on your property.  

No, this depends on you as the property owner. Once Whistler’s new bylaws are adopted you are allowed (but not required) to increase density (the number of units) on your property. 

No. In Whistler, to market and provide paid accommodation to tourists, your property needs to be zoned for tourist accommodation and you need a business licence. Learn more about tourist accommodation rules in Whistler. 

The new changes increase the number of residential units for residential use. 

We don’t have information to indicate how this will affect housing values.  

The Province has indicated that they will review future property sales related to the small-scale multi-unit housing changes and adapt annual assessments.  

We will share additional information as it becomes available from the Province and BC Assessment. 

Property taxes are calculated according to the class of the property and its assessed value.  

The RMOW will be looking at the impact on utilities.

The new rules will add diversity and new housing choices to the neighbourhoods with additional dwelling units and a range of housing types.  

Existing building heights of three storeys will be maintained and some limited incremental density is being recommended. The maximum density for the property can be distributed across the number of dwelling units allowed. 

The RMOW will be engaging professionals to test the new zoning bylaws to check their viability. A part of this testing will be to review and test existing building setbacks. The proposed bylaw has recommended some relaxation of existing sideyard setbacks. This is the distance between a side lot line and the closest wall or part of a building.  

It does not change the regulations for off-street parking. Off-street parking requirements will be maintained; however, a reduction in the number of spaces is recommended for SSMUH developments with three or four dwelling units, along with a maximum number of spaces.  

We don’t know how much uptake there will be. These housing initiatives are intended to fit within broader provincial and local government strategies to increase housing types, availability, and affordability. 

The changes will take effect upon adoption of the bylaw or no later than June 30, 2024. 

The RMOW will require some units to be designated for rental tenure or employee housing through a covenant on the property, if the dwelling units are stratified. When two or three dwelling units are developed, one unit will be designated for employee housing. When four dwelling units are developed, two units will be designated for employee housing. There will be no rent or price restrictions on units designated for employees. 

There will be an annual statutory declaration requirement administered by the Whistler Housing Authority.  

Additional small-scale multi-use housing units will only be added to Whistler’s housing inventory once they are developed. Whistler’s Official Community Plan allows for up to 1,000 additional bed units to address Whistler’s employee housing shortage. 

Stratification of units will be permitted with a portion of the units covenanted for employee use. Please see above for explanation of the number of units per property. 

Housing is one of Whistler’s top four priorities in the 2023–2026 RMOW Strategic Plan.  

These changes are also aligned with actions in the RMOW’s Housing Action Plan (endorsed by Council on May 16, 2023), including encouraging private sector development and developing a new infill housing program. 

Whistler’s OCP also recommends exploring infill housing opportunities to support employee housing. 

The RMOW monitors inquiries and applications for any building permits. If there is significant uptake of SSMUH opportunities, the RMOW will need to budget for and staff its building department accordingly. 

The RMOW will be looking in the short-term at infrastructure capacity in larger single-family neighbourhoods. The RMOW will also be considering uptake and planning for future capacity needs. 

The expanded development cost charges and new amenity cost charges are tools for the RMOW to help finance future community infrastructure and service needs. 

Transit Oriented Development Area

The RMOW is required to designate the Whistler Gondola Exchange as a Transit Oriented Development Area. The related bylaw updates come into effect on June 30, 2024 and affect properties within 400 metres of the Gondola Exchange. 

The updates mean that the RMOW cannot reject a rezoning application for a site that is zoned entirely or partially for residential use based on the proposed density and/or building height, if the proposed density and height are both at or under the provincially prescribed density and height

Practically, this change will have little immediate effect, because the properties in this area are already built out as hotels and non-residential properties and would be subject to rezoning. 

Proactive Planning

This is already in effect. 

Yes, rezoning applications that do not align with Whistler’s Official Community Plan will still require a public hearing. 

Official Community Plan amendment bylaws also require a public hearing. 

Community members can provide feedback about housing proposals in the following ways: 

  • At a public hearings not prohibited by recent Provincial legislation 
  • Through the OCP public engagement processes, which will now happen every five years 
  • By emailing municipal staff planning@whistler.ca

The RMOW is waiting for direction from the Province in summer 2024 about updating its 2022 Housing Needs Report. The municipality needs to update the report by January 1, 2025. 

The RMOW is waiting for direction from the Province in summer 2024 about updating its Official Community Plan. The municipality needs to update its OCP by December 31, 2025.